1. ITV Report

Towns bid for Mary Portas regeneration cash

Dovercourt highstreet Photo: ITV Anglia

Communities across our region are bidding for a slice of one million pounds from Mary Portas's scheme to help rejuvenate town centres. As well as the cash they'll get advice from the retail guru.

Last year Mary Portas led a review into the decline of the high streets and concluded that many had reached crisis point.

Hundreds of applications are expected by the deadline on Friday. One of the towns in our region hoping for up to £100,000 of funding is Dovercourt in Essex.

As you walk through the town you can't fail to notice the number of boarded up shops. One business owner said many small businesses had been forced to close due to competition from the large conglomerates.

The Dovercourt town team have come up with a variety of ideas to rejuvenate the area, including covering empty shop windows with pictures of shops to stop the town looking so derelict.

Another idea is to give Dovercourt a Victorian or Edwardian look so it is more in keeping with what it was like in its hey day.

They want to give people more reasons to shop in the town and entice new businesses in.

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