Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury Market bag a cash boost after Mary Portas review

Mary Portas.
Mary Portas.
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A trio of West Yorkshire towns have been awarded a total of £30,000 Government cash aimed at breathing new life into ailing high streets.

Wakefield, Pontefract and Dewsbury will each receive £10,000 to help smarten up town centres and bring empty shops back into use.

All three have successfully applied to become Town Team Partners to win grants from The Department of Communities and Local Government.

The funding forms part of the ‘Our Town First – Town Team’ scheme launched following the review of the country’s high streets by Mary Portas, the star of TV show Mary Queen of Shops.

One bid was submitted by the Pontefract Business Forum and £10,000 has been secured to refurbish Pontefract market stalls.

The funding will provide new stall covers for all 110 stalls and will fully replace some of the stalls.

The Wakefield bid for occupying vacant shops in the town centre was also successful.

It will provide funding support for people interested in starting up their own business, existing businesses wishing to progress up the ladder of accommodation and businesses looking for other opportunities for expansion.

The Dewsbury Town Team plan to stage events to attract people back into the town centre and develop ideas to bring vacant shops back into use.

Plans include using shop front displays from local groups or employers.

Coun Denise Jeffery, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for Regeneration and Economic Growth, said: “The success of these bids will help us in our commitment to boost the local economy, both in Wakefield and Pontefract.

“We were disappointed that we weren’t successful with the Portas Pilot bid earlier this year, but this money is great news and will go a long way in helping us encourage more visitors to both Pontefract and Wakefield.”

The Town Team partners will also be able to access a support package prepared by the Association of Town Centre Management which gives shared access to learning and best practice.

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