Chorley will not be Portas town

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Chorley has missed out on becoming a Portas Pilot town.

The town has not been named as one of 12 who will receive a slice of £1.2m as part of a scheme by celebrity shopping guru Mary Portas.

A ‘power board’ was set up to come up with ideas on how the cash could be spent, and to make a video telling Mary what Chorley could do with the boost.

But they missed out, with towns including Nelson and Stockport winning a spot in the first raft of towns instead.

A further 15 are expected to be announced later this year.

Chorley Council leader Coun Alistair Bradley said: “I know a lot of people were interested in the Portas Pilot and some thought it was the answer to all our prayers.

“But a lot of Chorley’s problems have to be answered by Chorley itself.

“Whilst it is regrettable, there is work we can do in the town centre regardless.”

As part of Chorley’s application, it was hoped money could be spent transforming the former McDonald’s site on Market Street, and a scheme to help fill empty shops.

Coun Bradley said: “That’s the thing with competitions, someone has to lose out.

“But we will keep going forward and we have a town centre team who are looking at lots of things.

“Even if it had come off, it would only have applied for a certain time. We need a long-term plan for Chorley instead.”

Local Government Minister Grant Shapps praised the quality of the winning bids, which will each receive a slice of £1.2 million and a tailored package of support from both the Minister and Mary Portas.

He said: “The best local high streets offer more than simply shopping – they are the beating heart of their neighbourhoods: places to meet, work, relax and come together as a community.

“It’s why this competition to become a Portas Pilot has captured the imagination of the nation, with communities across the country uniting to support their high streets.”