Events Listings

Malmesbury for Portas 'pilot' status

Following the Mary Portas’s report on Britain’s High Streets, the Department for Communities and Local Government are looking for 12 ‘pilot’ towns to test the ideas contained within the report. We believe that Malmesbury should apply for ‘pilot’ status. This is not purely because of the threats of the supermarkets, although the findings should assist the town centre in combating any impact should they gain approval, but because the town centre needs a vision and plan for the future – to make it sustainable, vibrant and successful.

If granted, then Malmesbury will be awarded a grant of up to £100,000 to implement the relevant recommendations of the Portas report, as well as other, non-financial support. To be successful in this bid, the town will need to demonstrate that it is committed with strong local support from all parts of the community. We will need to pull together a ‘Town Team’ that can drive forward the vision for the town implement the recommendations. We are inviting all interested businesses, plus ‘key’ representatives from other bodies to a short presentation on recommendations of the Portas report, the terms of the pilot scheme bid, and hopefully, to agree on a way forward.

We think that Malmesbury would make an ideal and interesting pilot on many fronts for instance:

  • We are the oldest borough in England – with a history and medieval town centre
  • We have tremendous tourism opportunities
  • We have a High Street that is threatened by two supermarket developments
  • We have a High Street that lacks any ‘vision’
  • We have parking issues
  • We have a High Street with too many empty shops
  • We have High Street that needs to evolve and develop, whether or not the supermarkets get their way
  • Malmesbury is a unique, beautiful town, that the likes of John Betjeman loved, that needs protecting, but assisting to cope with the demands of the 21st century

This will take place on : MONDAY 20th FEBRUARY @ the Kings Arms function room 5.30 for 6pm prompt start.

Please attend if you want to see this work. We will be seeking help from individuals who have skills, knowledge and experience that can assist us in making out bid successful – we will be up against stiff opposition. But, importantly, if not successful, the groundwork will have been done to assist the town centre and the High Street in preparing for the future – with or without the supermarkets.

You don’t have to register – just turn up.

Our thanks go to Bill Blake, town councillor for his enthusiastic work on this to date and to the Kings Arms for hosting the event.

Click here to find out more about the Portas Pilots