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All go for town centre plans despite Portas disappointment
11:40am Thursday 9th August 2012 in Local
COUNCIL bosses have vowed to continue with plans to attract more businesses to Dudley town centre after it missed out again on a share of £1.5m.
Dudley was one of 400 towns to be considered for the second wave of the Portas Pilot funding to help rejuvenate the High Street, after missing out on the first round of applications back in May.
But regeneration chiefs have expressed their disappointment after being overlooked yet again by the initiative by retail guru Mary Portas and Local Government Minister Grant Shapps, which has so far given 27 boroughs £100,000 to revitalise their town centres.
Dudley Council is now working on plans to offer incentives to reduce the number of vacant shop units in the town centre and create schemes to promote new and young enterprise in the town as well as working with market traders to explore options to further develop the offer of the traditional market place.
Councillor Shaukat Ali , cabinet member for regeneration, said:“We are clearly very disappointed not to have been selected despite what we feel was a very good bid which incorporated many components of other bids which have succeeded.
“We will continue to monitor any potential future funding options but we have built a strong local partnership around this work and are confident that we can bring forward many elements of our programme despite this disappointment.”
The latest winning Portas Pilot bids were Ashford, Berwick, Braintree, London Road in Brighton, Hatfield, Royal Leamington Spa, Lodge Lane in Liverpool, the Cut in the Waterloo area of central London, Forest Hill in south London, Chrisp Street, Watney Market, Roman Road in Tower Hamlets, East London, Loughborough, Lowestoft, Morecambe, Rotherham and Tiverton.