£10,000 funding boost for town team

MORPETH’S Portas town team is set to receive a £10,000 funding boost which will enable it to start implementing its plans.

An Economic Forum, including Morpeth Town Council, Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade, the Greater Morpeth Development Trust and local businesses, was set up to put together the original bid for the Government scheme.

It was not selected as a pilot town as the project concentrated on locations in need of major support, but members were keen to continue the work they started.

Ideas included in the proposal were for a town centre loyalty card, weekend park and ride scheme, development of the More In Morpeth brand, a mobile phone app and market events.

Now the Government has written to all MPs in the areas that submitted proposals to show their support by applying for them to become Town Team Partners.

If they approve the bids, in Morpeth’s case it would be Ian Lavery MP, the group can apply for the package. It also includes support from the Association of Town Centre Management.

Coun Ken Brown, who chaired the forum, said: “This is welcome news as the money would fund some of the ideas that we put forward.

“We have resumed our meetings to put forward the bid and are starting to flesh out a six-stage action plan, including how we should spend the £10,000.

“When the Portas scheme was unveiled we were quite excited, although it appeared that we wouldn’t get any funding from it because it focussed on failing town centres.

“But this new initiative shows that it was the right decision to put forward a bid and it will give a real kick-start to our plans. We will also formalise the town team into an established group.”