For some time now accross the UK committees have been forming and people have been focused on a common cause. The catalyst, an opportunity to win £100K worth of investment to revitalise retail in their area.
The winners have now been announced and 12 areas from around the UK have been awarded the much coveted Portas Pilot Status.
The town teams that were granted Portas Pilot status:
Bedford, Bedfordshire - offering mentoring support for High Street businesses and community use of empty properties.
Bedminster, Bristol - putting Bedminster on the map for Street Art and Street Theatre. A bicycle rickshaw service and a review of parking will also tackle the traffic environment.
Croydon, Greater London - transforming the riot-stricken area's historic Old Town market into a thriving market, food and cultural quarter.
Dartford, Kent - opening up central spaces for use by classes and clubs, from the Scouts to Slimming World and starting a 'school for shopkeepers'.
Liskeard, Cornwall - competing against the edge of town supermarket with a vibrant arts scene, guerrilla gardening and yarn bombing to inject fun back into the town centre.
Margate, Kent - putting education and enjoyment at the heart of the town centre's transformation with courses, 'job club' services and pop up shops.
Market Rasen, Lincolnshire - drawing customers in by restoring the market town look and feel, advertising free parking and mentoring new businesses.
Nelson, Lancashire - attracting local students with a young persons café, sports activities, and a new art and vintage market.
Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland - better branding of the town to draw people in, improving local transport and hosting pop up shops.
Stockport, Greater Manchester - realising the character and potential of the Markets and Underbanks area with a creative arts complex, outdoor screenings, a new parking strategy and street champions.
Stockton on Tees, Teesside - live entertainment at the Globe Theatre to boost the evening leisure economy alongside specialist High Street and evening markets.
Wolverhampton, West Midlands - bringing the city will to life with modern day town criers and on-street performers and a 'dragon's den' style competition to support local entrepreneurs.
Whilst there was an incredible response to the initiative of course not everyone was successful however our view has always been that it has never been about the money but the galvanising of community around a common issue. An issue that is never likely to be solved with £100K of investment alone but by a concerted effort by those living within these areas.