IT HAS been about three weeks since Market Rasen was thrust into the national spotlight after becoming one of only 12 towns across the country to win a share of a £1.2m Government fund to regenerate high streets.
And already work has begun on the fantastic £100,000 Portas Pilot project to restore the market town look and feel.
Market Rasen Business Improvement Group – which put together a plan for the town in its application for funding – has been in touch with Government minister for housing and planning Grant Shapps.
The group has been told the town will get specific experts – including a markets specialist – to help action the plan that secured its winning place. They will visit Market Rasen on June 18.
MR BIG member Sara Scott said: “I’m really glad we’ve got a markets specialist – it’s very exciting.”
The funding will soon be available and will be paid to West Lindsey District Council – it will ring-fence for cash for MR BIG.
But before MR BIG can get its hand on the cash, it must set up as a not-for-profit community interest company (CIC).
This means it can have a bank account and ensures an official structure is in place to make sure funds are used responsibly and transparently.
MR BIG wants to hear from any Market Rasen business people or traders who are interested in becoming company board members – these people will play a key role in the Portas Pilot project.
The cash will be used to draw customers in by restoring the market town look and feel, advertising free parking and mentoring new businesses.
Plus there will be a tailored package of support, which includes help from retail guru Mary Portas.
Special ‘town teams’ plan to ‘blitz’ unkempt areas of the town and work with landlords to tackle empty shops.
MR BIG’s plan is full of innovative ideas about how a ‘mentoring’ scheme will be put in place for new businesses to learn how to trade on the market and work their way up to a high street store.
For more information about becoming a CIC board member e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Sara Scott on 07912 644968.
A briefing session will be held at Holy Rood Schoolroom on Monday, June 18, at 7pm. Board members will be elected during a meeting at Holy Rood Schoolroom on Tuesday, June 26 at 7pm.