Birmingham & Black Country

Wolverhampton will share government high street money

Wolverhampton has been chosen as one of 12 English High Streets which will share a £1.2m pot of government money to rejuvenate shopping areas.

Ideas proposed by retail guru Mary Portas in her High Street review will be tried out in the selected areas.

Wolverhampton City Centre manager Kim Gilmour said the award of £100,000 had "focussed... the attention on tackling empty shops".

But she said it was not "an awful lot of money" in a city like Wolverhampton.

'Students in costume'

Plans for the cash include supporting local entrepreneurs and undertaking training and mentoring.

Another proposal has been to have "contemporary city criers, perhaps students in costume" on streets telling people what was going on, the manager said.

Portas - star of TV shows such as Mary Queen of Shops - will make a programme about the 12.

Minister of State for Communities and Local Government Grant Shapps said the retail guru would meet all the winning bidders and, along with his department, offer advice.

Fifteen more "Portas pilot" areas will be selected later this year.

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