Portas grants up for grabs in Stockport

Simon Donohue

Funding of up to £10,000 is being made available for projects which will help Stockport to achieve the aims of its status as one of the Government's Portas towns.

The town's Portas Delivery Group has launched a public bidding process for projects to physically improve and increase footfall in the Old Town area and to help start-up businesses.

The aim is to help improve perceptions of Stockport Town Centre as an attractive place to live, shop and spend leisure time.

The Portas Delivery Group was formed in April 2013 with the aim of making the plans that helped Stockport win the bid a reality.

Having agreed the key priorities that Portas Projects are expected to meet, they are requesting individuals, community groups and businesses to submit their ideas to improve the Old Town area of Market Place, Underbanks, Chestergate and Petersgate.

Shortlisted bids will be invited to give a brief personal summary to the group on Tuesday 3 September and answer questions.

Ted Doan is general manager of Stockport Plaza and was the first to benefit from the Portas Pilot funding.

He said "The Plaza in Stockport is the last remaining Super-Cinema and Variety Theatre in the country still trading in its original capacity and with the support of the Portas Pilot contribution, we were able to invest in a digital projector that has enhanced our programme generating a noticeable increase in our audiences.

"Since the first screenings shown on the digital projector we have welcomed new and diverse audiences of towards 90,000 people who have shared in satellite broadcasts of theatre productions, private screenings and specialist film festivals such as Screen Stockport and Grimm Up North.

"The funding has helped us to help community and special interest groups, independent film makers and helped develop the evening economy in Stockport.

"As a member of Stockport's Portas Delivery Group I will be looking for ideas that can use the funding creatively to produce a lasting legacy for the people of Stockport."

Bids must be submitted by noon on Tuesday 27 August 2013 to portasdeliverygroup@stockport.gov.uk or by post to 30-31 Market Place, Stockport, SK1 1ES.

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