PORTAS Towns Team partners get to work in Stroud, Gloucestershire
TOWNS Team partners lined up for the camera as they began work on ideas to encourage footfall in four key High Streets across the Five Valleys and Severn Vale.
The delegates from Stroud town centre were joined by representatives from Painswick and Wotton-under-Edge after the area's MP Neil Carmichael helped secure £10,000 for the Mary Portas-style initiative.
Retail guru Ms Portas earlier reviewed Britain's ailing High Streets for the Government.
She recommended a list of remedies including making High Streets destinations for socialising and culture with vibrant evening economies.
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The money, which has been matched by £10,000 from Stroud District Council, will also benefit Dursley, whose team member was unable to make the inaugural session.
The Towns Team, which next meets on March 19, decided to promote existing festivals in all four towns.
"By doing that it will draw more people into towns and, therefore, more shops will open," said team member Debbie Young, who is the aide to MP Mr Carmichael.
"One of the important things we thought was to co-ordinate what is going on in the towns, to create a calendar which could be accessed online, a strong brand, so people can find out what was going on and, equally, for people who are running an event to add things."
Other Towns Team members included Carole Garfield, Stroud & District Chamber of Trade chairman; Roger Claydon, Wotton-under-Edge town councillor; Anne Smith and Caroline Crawford, Painswick parish councillors; Pippa Stroud, the regeneration policy implementation man-ager at Stroud District Council; Sheral Gardner for Sue Capener, Stroud Town Council clerk; Amanda Moriarty, Stroud mayor; and Roger Sanders, district council executive member for regeneration.