Portas projects funded in Stockport

David McCourt

Three new projects have been given the go ahead by the Town Team.

Stockport Plaza was granted £20,000 funding towards a new digital projector, and the National Market Traders Federation and Stockport Historic Quarter Forum have received funding for Christmas-themed events.

The projects were selected by the Town Team Committee and then put to the wider Town Team to vote on.

Stockport Plaza's new digital projector will enable the Plaza to show independent films, operas and ballet, and work alongside community groups to develop a cinema and arts programme.

The National Market Traders Federation Stockport Branch was awarded £4,300 for a Christmas market on Sunday 23 December. The event will offer ice-skating, pony rides, music, activities and a staged area for community events.

The Stockport Historic Quarter Forum was also granted £1,500 for a Christmas event called 'What the Dickens'. It will be held on Saturday 8 December and is a celebration of Charles Dickens' 250th anniversary year with activities throughout Hillgate, Underbanks and the Market Place.

Ted Doan, general manager of Stockport Plaza, said: "Being awarded a grant from the Town Team means that our film programme can be developed to include independent film exhibitions and satellite broadcasts from the National Theatre, Glyndebourne opera house and ballet companies from across the world.

"It will not only increase footfall, but allow us to add value to the local community by supporting local film festivals and promoting local services on screen."

Stockport's Portas project was criticised earlier this year after teenager Joe Barratt, a successful applicant for funding, claimed town hall bosses 'betrayed' the idea behind his bid, and accused them of trying to run the scheme from behind closed doors.

This was followed by reports in July that no applications for the position reserved for a local resident on the Town Team Board, which oversees the work of the Portas Pilot initiative in Stockport, had been received.

The Town Team Committee is encouraging anyone with a good idea to improve Stockport town centre to put in a bid while there is still funding available.

Bids for funding will initially be submitted to the Town Team Committee for consideration and selection, before being circulated to the wider Town Team to vote on.

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