Towns lose out in Portas bid

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THREE high streets in our area have been unsuccessful in their bids to become Mary Portas pilot towns.

The government has announced today the first 12 towns chosen to trial a number of measures aimed at reviving dying shopping centres.

Gosport, North End and Bishop’s Waltham had all applied to try out the measures, which were put forward to the government by TV retail expert Mary Portas.

But none of them have been chosen in the first round.

There is still hope for the three high streets as housing minister Grant Shapps also announced a second round to be held later this year.

The second round will see another 12 towns chosen to benefit from relaxed planning rules, extra funding and expert advice.