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Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Driving growth and creating jobs through the rejuvenation of London's high streets is at the heart of my mayoralty and the Portas pilot initiative is a fantastic way to help us achieve this.
"Through our regeneration drive we have already started reversing the decay of our high streets that had been allowed set in through long-term underinvestment.
"So I'm looking forward to receiving some innovative ideas which will help lead the way in steering London out of recession and get these vital economic centres booming again."
Chris Wade, chief executive of national charity Action for Market Towns said: "Mary Portas is genuinely passionate about rejuvenating high streets and towns.
"So are the communities which worked so hard to submit innovative and creative Portas Pilot applications.
"But to turn the process of support for our ailing high streets into a competition, then let the losers watch while a different £10m pot (the 'High Street Innovation Fund' ) is handed out which may not benefit them is a punch in the guts for the unsuccessful bidders."
Bedford business owner Sue Wines and Christina Rowe from Bedford Bid Business Improvement District are both delighted that Bedford town centre has been chosen as a Portas Pilot.
Twelve UK towns have been chosen as Portas Pilots. They are part of a government scheme to rejuvenate the nation's high streets. Read more on the ITV Anglia website.
Twelve towns across the UK have been chosen as Portas Pilots in a government scheme to rejuvenate the nation's high streets and town centres.
Local Government Minister Grant Shapps says the Portas Pilots have brought forward "ideas and energy" and have created lots of work across the country.
Mr Shapps said they were "good news" for town centres and were a "good first step" in generating more business.
The following towns will receive:
- Newbiggin by the Sea, Northumberland - better branding of the town, improving local transport and hosting pop up shops.
- Stockport, Gtr Manchester - improving markets and Underbanks areas with a creative arts complex, outdoor screenings, a new parking strategy and street champions.
- Stockton on Tees, North Yorks - live entertainment at the Globe Theatre to boost evening leisure economy alongside specialist High Street and evening markets.
- Wolverhampton - modern day town criers and on-street performers and a dragons den style competition to support local entrepreneurs.
- Bedford - offering support for High Street firms and community use of empty properties.
- Croydon - transforming the riot-stricken areas into a thriving market, food and cultural quarter.
- Dartford - opening up central spaces for use by classes and clubs and starting a school for shopkeepers.
- Bedminster, Bristol - putting town on the map for street art and street theatre. Bicycle rickshaw service and a review of parking
- Liskeard, Cornwall - competing against the edge of town supermarket with a vibrant arts scene, guerrilla gardening and yarn bombing
- Margate - putting education and enjoyment at the heart of the town centres transformation
- Market Rasen, Lincs - restoring the market town look and feel, advertising free parking and mentoring new businesses
- Nelson, Lancs - young persons café, sports activities, and a new art and vintage market.
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Twelve town centres across the country have been named as Portas Pilots in an attempt to rejuventate high street shopping.