Felixstowe: Resort bids for Portas cash to boost shopping centre

SEASIDE traders are bidding for a share of a �1million pot to bring new life to the town centre and boost business.

Under the leadership of the Felixstowe Futures group, the resort is hoping to be one of just 12 locations across the country to be selected for the Portas Pilot Town scheme.

The initiative is being spearheaded by retail guru Mary Portas and the government with the aim of rejuvenating town centres as they battle for survival in the face of competition from out-of-town developments and internet shopping.

Felixstowe believes working with its Great Days by the Sea branding and offering more events to create a lively atmosphere, plus making it easier for people to visit both the seafront and the shopping centre, is the key.

It also wants to create a virtual Hamilton Road on-line to encourage people to shop in the town’s stores.

Chamber of trade chairman Andrew Rowdon said: “We felt applying for the pilot project was the right thing to do – if you don’t try, you don’t get.

“Like all towns we need a little help at the moment – perhaps more so than others.

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“We have some really positive ideas and it would be great to move forward with those.”

The Felixstowe Business Enterprise Group (FBEG) has been formed to head up the project and is drawing up a vision for the future of the shopping centre, including the creation of a virtual Hamilton Road on-line to encourage people to shop in the town’s stores.

“There is a lot to offer in Felixstowe, but we need to get the message out and make it easier for everyone to enjoy their day by the sea,” said Felixstowe Futures.

“This means a high street where there is always something new happening, where there is a sense of location, culture and pride.”

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