Town fails to get share of £1m high street cash

CRAWLEY will not get a share of a £1million high street rejuvenation package.

However, it will get a second chance to receive funding in June.

Crawley Borough Council, which prepared the bid, has praised the level of community spirit shown by town centre businesses during the process.

The town was among 370 applicants hoping to receive up to £100,000 each to regenerate high streets and become “Portas’ pilots”

The Portas Review, published in December, set out what retail queen Mary Portas thought had led to the decline of high streets and laid out her 28 recommendations “to breathe life back into them”.

Successful towns will receive the funding as well as expert advice on how best to revamp their high streets.

A spokesman for Crawley Borough Council said: “We may have been unsuccessful but the bid has been a great way to pull together all the enthusiasm and community spirit among town centre businesses.

“We will continue to stage events in the High Street, with High Street Live next on June 17, opening it up to all of the community and bringing the area back to life during the day.

“Our bid will be reconsidered as part of the second stage. We’d like to thank all of the businesses who continue to support our bid.”

Crawley Labour Group leader Cllr Peter Lamb (Northgate) predicted that, given the work the council has put into improving the town centre, the lack of a grant would not make much of a difference.

He added: “It’s disappointing to see Crawley lose out once again. We have great faith in Crawley and even if the Government won’t support us we will continue to work to improve and develop the town for the better.”

The winning bids, announced on Saturday (May 26) were: Bedford, Bedfordshire; Croydon, Greater London; Dartford, Kent; Bedminster, Bristol; Liskeard, Cornwall; Margate, Kent; Market Rasen, Lincolnshire; Nelson, Lancashire; Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland; Stockport, Greater Manchester; Stockton on Tees, Teesside and Wolverhampton, West Midlands.