Corby, Kettering and Rushden get Portas cash

Corby is one of four town centres to get some money
Corby is one of four town centres to get some money

Four towns have been chosen as Portas Town Team Partners and will receive help to revitalise their High Streets.

The Portas Towns scheme was launched by the Government with the help of retail guru Mary Portas to look at ways to breathe life into England’s High Streets.

Having missed out on the initial Portas Pilot funding, Kettering, Corby, Rushden and Desborough have been chosen as Portas Town Team Partners and will get £10,000 to help them put their ideas into practice as well as advice and support from leading retail experts.

Announcing the new Town Team Partners, Local Growth Minister Mark Prisk said the extra support would help the teams to strengthen their leadership on the ground, and enable them to try new ideas on their High Streets to make them more attractive and competitive.

Town Team Partners also get access to an advice line and a network of advisers managed by the Association of Town Centre Management and an online “Knowledge Bank” with expert advice and support.

The leader of Corby Council, Tom Beattie, welcomed the announcement. He said: “It is very exciting news.

“We now look forward to working with Helical Bar, the owners of Willow Place shopping centre, to wisely invest the money towards town centre improvements.

“Since the regeneration of Corby town centre, people from in and around the borough have been highly complimentary of the retail outlets we have to offer and this money will help to assist in making further improvements to the local hub.

“Customer satisfaction is a hugely important factor and we will do all we can to ensure residents are completely satisfied with the retail facility we have to offer.”

Director of Helical Bar Duncan Walker said: “We are delighted to become a Town Team Partner and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Corby Council and promoting Corby as a vibrant and successful retail and leisure destination.”

The chairman of the Rushden Town Team, Marian Holloman, said plans are being put together to invest the money to rejuvenate the area.

She said: “In the current economic climate, any help is good news so this is a boost to Rushden. We’ll move forward with this £10,000 and look at developing a website that will establish Rushden as a place to visit, to socialise and to shop.

“We will also be looking at building on the existing offer in the town.”