North Northumberland towns miss out on high-street cash

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AMBLE and Alnwick have lost out on the chance for funding for their town centres under the Government’s Portas Pilot scheme – but there will be another chance this summer.

Both towns entered bids earlier this year to win a tranche of £1.2million and a tailored package of support from both local government minister Grant Shapps and retail guru Mary Portas.

THe 12 successful towns were announced today and included Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.

Berwick and Morpeth also missed out on the fund.

The competition to become a pilot received an overwhelming response, with more than 370 applications from across the country.

Mr Shapps said unsuccessful applicants should not despair – the quality of the bids has been so high that he is launching a second round of the competition, which will see 15 additional pilots announced by the end of July.

Mr Shapps said there was no need for unsuccessful applicants to reapply, but they could sharpen up their bids if they wished and submit them again by June 30.

Mr Shapps said: “The best local high streets offer more than simply shopping – they are the beating heart of their neighbourhoods; places to meet, work, relax and come together as a community.

“It’s why this competition to become a Portas Pilot has captured the imagination of the nation, with communities across the country uniting to support their high streets.”