HELSTON has missed out on a second wave of cash to help its high street.
Another 15 towns have been announced as Portas Pilots to receive a slice of £1.5 million.
In February, retail guru Mary Portas and Local Government Minister Grant Shapps launched a competition to choose 12 towns or cities to become Portas Pilots.
The winners would share the money to help turn around their high streets’ fortunes and increase footfall.
However, because there were so many entries – more than 300 – the prize money and the number of winners was doubled.
Helston lost out in the first round having submitted a strong bid with its Towneoke video, which saw a number of locals singing along to the song Keep On Movin’ by boyband 5ive and attracted more than 12,000 hits on YouTube.
News that it lost out again and the chance to win £100,000 funding is a big disappointment to the town’s business community.
Andy Berry, who runs Andy’s Barbers and is a member of the Helston Improvement Partnership, and appeared in a second video talking about the town, said: “We’re gutted, but we have big plans for the partnership. We had as good a chance as anyone else.
“Everyone is concerned, it’s our livelihoods. The high street is changing and evolving. Helston is lucky in that it has a lot of smaller, independent businesses that can adapt, unlike large multinationals.”
The town centre has 130 individual businesses but recently saw Julian Graves wholefood store and Stead & Simpson close.
“We have a lot of people who are prepared to put themselves out to improve footfall in the town,” added Mr Berry.
Equally upbeat about its failed bid was town mayor Jonathon Radford-Gaby.
“We had a very strong application and I feel very disappointed,” he said, “we will never beat the supermarkets, Helston has to offer something different.
“With the new improvement partnership the sky’s the limit and while it’s a shame that we didn’t get the funding we’re not dejected.
“The Government seemed to be going in a different direction this time selecting parts of cities.”
The successful towns were: Ashford, Berwick, Braintree, Brighton, Hatfield, Royal Leamington Spa, Liverpool, the Waterloo area of central London, Forest Hill in south London, Tower Hamlets, Loughborough, Lowestoft, Morecambe, Rotherham and Tiverton.
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