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High street grants bid is to be a team effort
MALVERN Town Council has put its weight behind a bid by town traders to win a grant from Queen of Shops Mary Portas.
Great Malvern Association of Traders (GMAT) launched a campaign three weeks ago to make Malvern one of the 12 towns across Britain to be chosen for the scheme.
The winning communities will get up to £100,000 each, plus expert advice by the retail guru, who launched the campaign to breathe new life into the nation’s High Streets.
The bid is being put together by a group which includes GMAT, Malvern Hills District Council, High Street Malvern and Transition Malvern.
Working with local social media expert Alasdair Munn, the group has been putting together a vision of Malvern as a cultural destination, building on its artistic, theatrical and musical heritage and taking inspiration from towns such as Hay-on-Wye and St Ives.
At this month’s full council meeting, Chris Marks, of GMAT, urged town council members to become part of the project.
He said: “We need to make the town a vibrant place to be, which will encourage tourists and visitors to come here.
“Footfall is our largest problem; we’ve seen it decline over the last few years, but we’ve got a lot of promise being below the hills.”
He said the challenge is to attract visitors who come to the hills to also visit the town and spend their money.
“This bid is about bringing together disparate groups which are all working hard for the town, but need to talk together.
“We need to be more holistic.
The key problem is that a lot of groups set up full of good intentions, but they petered out.”
A resolution moved by Councillor John Jordan to support the bid was passed by the councillors.
Anna Brook, of GMAT, said: “We’re absolutely delighted because a project like this is going to be a team effort and if we do win the bid, everybody will have to work together to make it a success. We couldn’t be happier, it's all good.”