Wisbech Town Team develops its strategy to get support from TV high street guru Mary Portas

PLANS to get Mary “Queen of Shops” Portas involved in kickstarting the rejuvenation of Wisbech continued this week, with the newly formed Town Team honing their strategy to bid for her support.

The TV high street guru is behind a new Portas Pilots scheme - looking to support 12 towns which could receive �100,000 to help turn round “unloved and unused” high streets.

Friday’s meeting came hot on the heels of a meeting held just four days earlier - and this time the Wisbech Town Team decided that instead of focusing on particular buildings, they should lay the foundations for a more flexible strategy.

The three primary themes that will put forward in the bid to become a Portas Pilot town are:

* Regeneration of the market place

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* Ensuring the use, maintenance and regeneration of derelict buildings

* The appointment of a town centre manage, and the creation of new events, as well as improvements to established events.

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The Team also decided that although the Portas bid is its primary focus in the short term - the final bid must be in by March 30 - it will continue beyond that date. Regardless of the outcome of the bid, the Team will continue to work towards the improvement of Wisbech town centre.

Several key threads were identified, for both the Portas bid and the Team’s ongoing vision for Wisbech. These include the promotion of the town’s heritage, as well as the potential for a rich and varied multicultural society.

The Team is also investigating funding from other sources, including heritage organisations and the National Lottery.

Members of the Town Team are due to meet again next week.

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