Mary’s mission

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PRESCOT is to become the latest town to get the Mary Portas treatment.

It’s means £10,000 windfall to boost the town’s main shopping areas and a package of measures draw up by the TV retail guru.

A team of local business leaders and councillors will implement the Portas proposals and invest the cash in ailing sectors of Prescot’s retail econmy.

The money, which will be provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), will be used to support more advertising and marketing of town centre businesses and a trial run of a shuttle bus linking the town centre and Cables Retail Park on market days.

There will also be money set aside for an improved package of events in Prescot town centre to boost visitor numbers.

Residents will also be able to do their bit, with the money also funding a promotional newsletter advertising home-grown businesses to potential customers and funding advertising campaigns encouraging people to buy local.

Councillr Dave Lonergan, cabinet member for regeneration, economy and skills at Knowsley Council, said: “These are tough times for the British High Street, as Mary Portas herself has recognised.

“But Prescot is a lovely, traditional market town with a rich heritage. Most importantly, perhaps, everyone involved with Prescot Town Centre has bags of enthusiasm and passion to help the town weather these tough times and come out stronger.

“Becoming a Town Team Partner is a great boost for all involved.”

Other measures funded by the DCLG money include customer service training for retailers in the town centre.

The town team initially applied to join the Portas Pilot scheme in September, with support from MP George Howarth and Knowsley Safari Park, the town’s biggest tourist attraction. The proposals for the funding reflect ideas and suggestions put forward during a consultation process with the town centre’s retailers, businesses and landlords.

Lesley Martin-Wright, Chief Executive of Knowsley Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is a really positive step and allows the Town Team to get started with some of the ideas we have come up with.

“Now we hope the whole community will get behind us.”