This promotion sums up the spirit of the Portas Pilots. Everyone playing their part to bring the buzz back to our town centres. Get on board and find out what all the fuss is about."
– Mary Portas
"Margate is one of Mary Portas' Pilot Towns and Southeastern is pleased to support the initiative. Since we launched the high speed service in 2009, we've seen passenger numbers from London to Margate increase by around 60 percent. We've also seen a boost in numbers following the opening of the Turner Contemporary and the town is very popular in the summer, but we see less passengers travelling in the winter months.
– Charles Horton, Southeastern's Managing Director
Southeastern trains has announced a special £10 return ticket for travel from London to Margate during the winter, in support of the Portas Pilot initiative.
It is hoped the special fare will help boost visitor numbers to the town.
Charles Horton, the company's MD, said: “Since we launched the high speed service we’ve seen passenger numbers to Margate increase by around 60 percent. We’ve also seen a boost following the opening of the Turner Contemporary, but we see less passengers travelling in the winter months.
“I met with Mary Portas last week to share our enthusiasm for supporting the regeneration of Margate. We’re calling this the ‘Portas Pilot’ ticket and we hope it will encourage more visitors to travel to Margate on the weekends during winter.”
Mary Portas added: “This promotion sums up the spirit of the Portas Pilots. Everyone playing their part to bring the buzz back to our town centres. Get on board and find out what all the fuss is about.”
Ashford and Brighton have been chosen to become one of 15 new Portas Pilot towns, after being chosen in the second round of bids.
They beat around 400 towns to be selected by the Government to become one of retail guru Mary Portas’ pilot high streets, which will see the town centre benefit from invaluable support, advice and extra funding.
The chosen towns get a share of a £1.5million funding pot.
£100,000 from government will also be match funded by an additional £100,000 from contributions through the planning agreements to revitalise the Town Centre.
Dartford has held its first farmers' market after it successfully applied to be a pilot town for retail guru Mary Portas. The town will now run a trial market two Sundays a month for six months. The next is on the second Sunday in August.
TV celebrity Mary Portas has sparked a row by appearing to threaten a public meeting in Margate that unless they allowed her television cameras in - she would withdraw her help from the town.
The self styled 'Queen of Shops' has been involved in a Government backed scheme to award twelve UK towns £100,000 for regeneration, but Miss Portas said her help came hand in hand with the cameras. Sarah Saunders reports.