Could minions from Despicable Me franchise be the answer to North End’s problems?

The Co-op in North End, which is closing down

The Co-op in North End, which is closing down

An artist's impression of how Portsmouth Retail Park could look.

Nine high street names including Greggs, Home Bargains and Subway lined up for new £16.2m Portsmouth Retail Park

  • Shopkeepers and visitors could dress up as popular minion characters to make North End more of a draw
  • Ukip councillor admits Portsmouth authority’s review into high streets didn’t target specific areas and was more of a ’ broad’ strategy
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THEY have taken the world by storm.

Now Minions could prove the answer to North End’s problems.

The traders really feel we need to put on some fun events, and one of the things we thought about is minions taking over North End, and arrange to get minion outfits.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt

A family-fun day could be set up encouraging business owners and shoppers to dress up as the yellow creatures from children’s film Minions, a spin-off to the Despicable Me franchise.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who has come up with the idea with traders, believes it will prove a draw with families who have been put off visiting the area.

It comes as city leaders attempt to thrash out ways to improve the Portsmouth shopping district, which is in decline and seen shops close.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘We really felt North End needs something to attract families.

‘What happened with places like McDonald’s when it was there, was it would be a draw for families coming, and a place for people to go after they had done their shopping with their children as a treat.

‘The traders really feel we need to put on some fun events, and one of the things we thought about is Minions taking over North End, and arrange to get Minion outfits.’

Another idea Ms Mordaunt has to encourage footfall is for a ‘heritage trail’ through the high street promoting North End’s history.

For it to work, she wants people to send her old pictures they may have of the area which can be displayed in shop windows.

She’s also calling for the city council to publish a report into the findings of its city-wide high street review this year so people know what the authority’s aspirations are for North End.

But Ukip councillor Julie Swan, who led the review, said she has presented her findings to the Tory cabinet.

But she admitted the study didn’t focus on particular shopping areas, and was more of a ‘broad’ strategy.

On the Minions idea, Cllr Swan said: ‘We should try anything – if it works, then great.’

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