More towns apply for ‘Queen of Shops’ help

Bideford and South Molton look to enlist the help of Mary Portas to drive town trade.

BIDEFORD will be bidding for a share of a �1million handout from the ‘Queen of Shops’ to revamp rundown high streets.

The town council will apply to become one of 12 UK towns to be selected as a Portas Pilot, a so-called golden ticket scheme being rolled out by the Government in the wake of the Mary Portas High Streets Review.

Speaking at Thursday night’s meeting, Councillor Anne Brenton, said: “Many other Devon towns are going to apply for this scheme and we need to make sure we portray what is unique about Bideford.

“I believe they are looking for particular features that are a challenge, and I think we should use the fact we are built on two hills could be an interesting challenge.”

Barnstaple and Ilfracombe are also understood to be applying for the scheme before the March 30 deadline.

South Molton Town Council has discussed its own application at meetings with its land agent and the South Molton Business Association.

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Mayor Dave Goodman is due to report back to councillors at tomorrow night’s (Tuesday) council meeting.

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