The Government will today unveil a £5.5m package of support to help revive nearly 400 ailing high streets and the latest 15 towns to be awarded pilot status under the recommendations made by the retail expert Mary Portas.
The fresh batch of Portas Pilots will each receive about £100,000 to invest in their high street to take the total number of towns to 27 and the level of investment to £2.7m. The new pilot areas include Ashford, Berwick, Loughborough, Rotherham, Morecambe and Lowestoft.
The 392 town teams not chosen by the Government will share the remainder of the funding. Martin Blackwell, the chief executive of the Association of Town Centre Management, said: "The response to the challenge created by the government's response to the Mary Portas report from communities in towns and cities across England was enormous."