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31 May 2012, 06:00
Bedford has been named as one of twelve struggling high streets to receive help under the Portas Pilot.
The Retail Guru and MP Grant Shapps have agreed to Bedford Bids £50,000 plans to put the 'Buzz' back in the town.
Bedford Bid director Christina Rowe says they are going to do this by creating a support hub for businesses:
Another key part of Bedford's application was to reduce the number of empty properties.
"At the moment if you wonder down the high street there are vacant units and we want to change that because by changing that you change peoples attitudes towards the town and it installs confidence in other people to want to take on retail units in the town"
370 applications were made all across the county to take part in the pilot. Mary Portas said:
"I've been deeply touched by both the quality and creativity of the bids and the momentum Britain’s first town teams have generated in just a few short weeks.
“It is now clearer to me than ever that Britain wants its town centres revitalised and the energy and accountability for that needs to rest with the people who live and do business there. My sincere congratulations to everyone who entered"