Portas Pilot bid submitted
Ashford is one step closer to getting the Queen of Shops to
bring her magic touch to the borough.
The bid to bring retail guru Mary Portas to Ashford to help
transform the high street was submitted by the borough council at
the end of last month, along with 50 letters of support from local
business and key stakeholders.
A total of 165 retailers within the town centre high street (83%)
also signed a petition backing the bid and the creation of a Town
Team, and 273 people ‘like’ the bid’s Facebook page.
Along with the bidding document, all towns competing for the scheme
were required to make an amateur short video showcasing their
town’s potential and upload their efforts to YouTube.
Ashford’s video went live last week and has already
received nearly 600 views.
Ashford is bidding along with around 400 UK towns to become one of
12 Portas Pilot High Streets, a scheme created by the Government
and retail guru Mary Portas.
The chosen towns will get a share of a £1million funding pot, and
invaluable national support and guidance on revitalising their town
Proposals on how to revitalise Ashford town centre include using
more innovative ideas to revitalise the market and make it a
destination point for shoppers, developing a virtual high street
and smartphone app to guide shoppers through the town, and creating
stronger links between the town centre and the popular Ashford
The new ‘town team’ would be tasked with creating a new vision for
the town centre, and bringing it to life within the next
Among the town centre businesses and stakeholders backing the bid
are Damian Green MP, the Homes and Communities Agency, Right Track
Music, AHBS Radio, The George Hotel, Pillow Talk Ashford,
McDonalds, Taylor Riley, Swagger, The Chilli Bite, HR Go
Recruitment, Chocolate Box, Stage Coach, Central Ashford Community
Forum, Kent County Council, Colyer Commercial, Zoe Alexander UK,
Devine & Sons Cleaning, Kentish Express, Angels Hair and
Beauty, Wilkins Kennedy, CMDL, Leaver’s Tobacconists, Liquid &
Envy, and Ashford Market. Residents and businesses alike can
continue to back the Ashford Portas Pilot bid by ‘liking’ the
Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ashfordportaspilot
and viewing the Ashford Portas Pilot
Video on YouTube.
Media release 0072/2012