Council in Portas Pilot bid to revive village high streets

By Steve Hayes 02/04 Updated: 10/04 12:47

Buy photos » Council business enterprise chief, Nancy Singleton, says smaller towns and villages need to be rescued from the shadow of Stratford in the bid video. (s)

FLAGGING high streets in the district could benefit from a slice of £1 million of Government funding for a pioneering new digital project to promote local businesses.

Stratford District Council and Coventry University are putting in a joint bid for a share of the cash under the Portas Pilot scheme, aimed at helping to boost struggling high street economies in towns and villages. 

If successful the funding would help to support a so-called 'E-Town Toolkit' pilot in Bidford and Studley which would then be rolled out to support other towns and larger villages across the district.

Like other towns bidding for the cash, the council and Coventry University have compiled a video bid.

In it Nancy Singleton, the council's business enterprise chief, says the scheme would revitalise town centres which currently live 'in the shadow of Stratford'.

"The Shakespeare brand brings economic benefits to the district but at the same time the daily reality is it is sucking revenue and footfall away from our smaller towns and villages," she said.

The scheme would focus on the online market with Coventry University's games institute developing software for a 3D virtual market, a mobile platform and a community portal for new businesses in a bid to reach more potential visitors.

Council business chief, Dave Webb, said the project could help sustain towns and villages.

He said: "We are very excited about this funding opportunity and if successful, the district council is committed both to delivering this project and to ensuring we do all that we can to support, develop and sustain the high streets of our towns and villages over the short and longer term."

And Tim Luft, the director of the Serious Games Institute, at Coventry University, who are developing the software, said: "The E-Town Toolkit brings to the forefront every day technologies which can add real value to our market towns and drive new footfall.

"We are very positive about the opportunity to work with the council and partners across the district to bring it to the public.

"We believe our bid brings well focused innovative action that could be used not only to support our immediate communities and their economy, but will provide a proof of concept that could be rolled out nationally to support business economies in urban, coastal and rural communities."

Successful applicants will be notified in May.

Visit to watch the video bid.

Popular Stories »

1 Stratford Park and Ride looks set to close

2 Stratford-on-Avon Gateway plan

3 Celebration of Sport round up

4 EXCLUSIVE - Shakespeare statue Stratford plan

5 Prehistoric find at Shipston High School

More news »

Housing policy war of words continues

THE WAR of words between the developer behind

Big bang theories rock county

A SONIC boom gave people across Warwickshire a

KES buys former old boy's war poems

THE ORIGINAL papers of a renowned Second World

Cousins jailed for total of 18 years after failed robbery

TWO cousins involved in a violent attempt to

Local News »

Regional news »

Evesham Observer
Come join the carnival is message from organisers

A RALLYING call has been made for residents and schools ...

Redditch Standard
Charity raffle to say thanks for saving life

LITTLE Freya Powell’s mother is set to host a charity ...

Leamington Observer
School told pay up or risk pupil safety crossing roads

A CUBBINGTON school has been told to pay up or ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.

Other Interests »

Business Directory »

See your advert here »