Town pushes ahead with bid for Portas cash

A MULTI-STRATEGY bid is to be submitted for a chunk of £1million funding to help breathe new life into Amble.

The town’s business club is attempting to scoop a cash boost of up to £100,000, as part of a Government-backed Mary Portas scheme to reinvest in the nation’s high streets.

Last week, the Gazette revealed that the organisation was keen to apply to become one of the 12 locations chosen as a Portas Pilot.

And following a meeting on Wednesday, it was agreed to push ahead, by drawing up a plan and entering the competition.

The ambitious bid will seek funding to:

l create a website to market Amble

l bring in an outside consultant to give advice on how businesses can improve their customer service and presentation

l create a mentoring system, or ‘hub’ to help teach youngsters the art of business and customer service

l develop a strategy to beautify the town.

And Amble Business Club chairman Colin Harris said that a winning bid would be a ‘feather in the cap’ for Amble and would make ‘a difference to a lot of people’.

“We have got a four-stage strategy for what we are going to ask for funding for,” he added.

“I think it is a very realistic bid.

“It is a bid which makes a lot of what we already do, and has an element of humanity, involving the community and teaching people skills that they can take further or pass on.

“We are trying to make the most of our unique selling points as a town and we feel that Amble is in a good position to make the most of this.”

The club is to submit its application to Northumberland County Council, which has agreed to be the bid’s accountable body, tomorrow for approval, before lodging the application to the competition by the March 30 deadline.