Portas Pilot bids could still fly

editorial image

COUNCILLORS representing Wolverton and Bletchley respectively are staying positive despite missing out on becoming a Portas Pilot.

Former ward councillor for Wolverton, Mike Galloway and current town clerk for Bletchley and Fenny Stratford town council, Lisa Courtney, have both spoken of their pride at their bids and their willingness to submit an improved bid in the coming weeks.

Mr Galloway said: “While we were initially disappointed we are all taking the news positively. We were up against some stiff competition and we submitted a very professional bid.

“The work we have done is still useful and now we will go away and look at the successful bids and see what we can learn from them.”

The initial round of applications saw successful bids for Bedford, Croydon, Dartford, Bedminster, Liskeard, Margate, Market Rasen, Nelson, Newbiggin by the Sea, Stockport, Stockton on Tees and Wolverhampton and they will now share a pot of £1 million to improve their high streets.

However, there will now be a second round of bids which will determine another 12 Portas Pilots and areas have until June 30 to submit them.

Mr Galloway said: “We don’t regret putting the hard work in, not at all. Because we were rejected we could have automatically re-entered with the same video but we will now go away, see where we can make changes and come back again.”

Lisa was equally positive about Bletchley and its own new bid for success.

She said: “We’re obviously disappointed but we gave it our best shot. As they say nothing ventured, nothing gained. We were given the chance to simply put the same video in but if there was something not quite right with the first one we will see where we can make improvements.

“It is early days at the moment and we know where we would like to make changes. The core of the bid will be the same and we will need to move on, review and revise where necessary.

“But we will look at the changes that need to be made and see where we can make improvements.”

The Bletchley bid was primarily based around the introduction of a new nighttime market which would have been available to people outside of the 9am-5pm working day.