Seaside town centres hope for funding from Queen of Shops

SEASIDE towns Newhaven and Seaford are hoping to secure a share of £1m from the Mary Portas Government Pilot Competition to give them a boost.

The results will be announced in May and money will be used to improve trading in the town centres.

Lewes District Council has been working with a range of local and national partners to develop and submit bids for both Seaford and Newhaven.

District council leader James Page said: “I strongly believe that we need to support our traditional high streets in the face of changing consumer habits and a range of external pressures.

“The focus provided by the Portas Pilot Programme has already led to closer working relationships between national and local organisations in developing ambitious work programmes to drive improvements across Newhaven and Seaford.”

The competition was set up following a review of Britian’s failing high streets by Mary Portas.

Newhaven is focusing on promoting the town’s niche market in seafood, whilst Seaford is developing an Impact Seaford team that will drive projects to attract trade from the A259 and improve gateways and linkages across the town centre and between the town centre and the seafront.

Successful bidders will need to demonstrate they have the energy, enthusiasm and vision to make a difference to their town centres and make them community hubs.

Areas will need to show how they plan to breathe new life into their high streets and shopping parades.

Mary Portas said: “I want the first 12 Town Teams to challenge the old ways of working, experiment, take risks and reaffirm their place at the heart of a community. A place we all want to be and can be proud of.”

Many local people, including retailers, schools and groups have been involved including the Seaford Youth Forum who played a crucial role in directing and producing the supporting video for the Seaford bid.

Both towns have submitted online youtube videos as part of their bids. Watch Seaford’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMlUNb7fUx4 and Newhaven’s at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za_by_6Gp4E