Renewed bid to become Portas pilot retail site in Chesterfield

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TOWN centre chiefs in Chesterfield say they will continue with a bid to win £100,000 for rejuvenating high streets after losing out in the first round.

The town was unsuccessful in a drive to become a ‘Portas pilot town’, a scheme created after retail expert Mary Portas made a Government report on how to breathe new life into high streets.

However, it will be entered into the second round for a further 15 pilots, with the results due in July.

Chesterfield Council and promotion project Destination Chesterfield say becoming a pilot town would support upcoming developments, including a refurbishment of the market hall and a new Debenhams store, in a period of change.

Coun John Burrows, council leader, said: “We have already tested some of the concepts of Mary Portas’s report, including offering a free parking scheme for late-night opening last Christmas.

“If successful, we will work with town centre businesses to deliver even more of the recommendations.”

Changes will be made to Chesterfield’s bid as it enters the second round of bids.