1. ITV Report

Portas boost for Rotherham businesses

Rotherham is being awarded £100,000 from the 'Portas Pilot' project, a Government scheme launched after a nationwide review of town centres by retail expert Mary Portas. The money is being matched by British Land, the owners of Parkgate Shopping Park.

The new funding will support around 70 town centre retailers who show the potential to grow and develop by expanding and diversifying their product range. They will also get help in targeting customers through marketing and branding.

We have been doing a huge amount of work to get people back into the town centre and our footfall figures over the last ten months show that this working. This funding will allow us and our partners to build on that success and hard work and allow us to continue with projects that will give our local shops and businesses the necessary vision for the future."Our successful bid encourages and supports businesses to improve their standards, customer-base and profitability, which in turn will ultimately encourage residents to Shop Local!"

– Councillor Gerald Smith, Rotherham Borough Council

I have seen a lot of new traders and they have been grateful to Rotherham Council for actually getting behind them. To bring new retailers back into town requires financial support, management support and business support, which I found quite inspiring."

– Mary Portas

Representatives from Rotherham will be attending a national meeting in London of all the Portas Pilots later this year. The event will be attended by Mary Portas and a Minister and will provide an opportunity for Rotherham to share its plans and experiences with other pilot schemes.