From my profile you will know that I am based in the lovely county of Warwickshire and spend a lot of my time in its towns and countryside. I'm sure you will have read by now the amazing accomplishment of Hatton & Harding who came runners up, last Wednesday, in the Best Small Interiors Shop in the Telegraph Shop Awards 2012 - we are all so very proud of them. The awards were supported by Mary Portas who, through the evening, David and Jerry got the chance to talk to. Not only did Mary praise them for what they have achieved in the last year and the support that they have within Warwick, but she also encouraged them to put in a bid for Wawick to become a Portas Pilot. David and Jerry are passionate about making Warwick a destination town and with the encouragement of Mary they have come back with even more of a determination to make it happen. As with anything in Warwick this hasn't stayed just an idea, within hours of a tweet from David and Jerry there was a blog launched, Warwick's bid for Portas Pilots, for people to be able to comment on what needs to be achieved to improve Warwick, to make it an even better town than what it already is!
The last four days has seen a real buzz around the town with many people offering support, including myself, as well as providing imaginative and innovative ideas. There is already support from shopkeepers, the local MP, the Mayor and the council, which is fantastic as this is what is required for the bid. What we need to do now is pull together all these ideas into a plan that demonstrates there is energy, enthusiasm and a vision to make Warwick town the hub of the community. I can definitely say this will not be a problem for Warwick from what I know and have seen so far.
The key priorities of the Portas Pilots are to:
- Get town centres running like a business
- Get the basics right to allow businesses to flourish
- Level the playing field
- Define landlords' roles and responsibilities
- Give communities a greater say
I'm not alone in thinking that Warwick, whilst a great town already, would benefit from improvements in certain services and invest in new technologies. What we need to do now is to produce a You Tube video as part of our plan. So there is much to do in a short amount of time, deadline for submissions is 30 March, but with all the support and enthusiasm the bid has got we know we will achieve this.
If you want to keep up with the development of Warwick's plan keep visiting the blog.
I'm backing Warwick's bid to become a Portas Pilot.......I love Warwick!
Lula Belle x
The Portas Review an independent review into the future of our high streets
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