Coventry & Warwickshire

Leamington Spa old town's £350,000 fundraising aim

Railway bridge across High Street, Leamington
Image caption Ideas for shops in the old town include a cafe, art gallery and specialist stores

Campaigners in Warwickshire who were granted money from the Portas Pilot fund are hoping to raise an additional £350,000.

A total of £100,000 was given to Leamington Spa's old town from a project set up by the government after advice from retail expert Mary Portas.

The fund is designed to help boost run-down high streets.

The extra money will help sustain the project for a longer amount of time, fundraisers said.

Jeremy Ireland, Leamington's project leader, said the Portas cash was a "one-off" and will be used to help start-up businesses re-develop shops.

Mr Ireland said the initial Portas money will be available as a "safety net" for new start-up businesses who will be able to bid for a sum of the money to help fund wages, should they need it.

Other plans include developing artwork on bridges and developing community schemes to encourage a "robustness of people loving and using the area".

The £350,000 will be raised by additional bids and fundraising events such as festivals and markets in the old town.

Leamington was one of 15 areas which received the £100,000 funding after Mary Portas described the traditional High Street as being at crisis point.

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