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Mary Portas 'Town Teams' says Minehead is doing well
COMMUNITY spirit and organisations working together is what is helping Minehead pull through tough times, according to the Centre of Local Economic Strategies.
Minehead was chosen as one of nine towns in England for a ‘resilience assessment’ as part of the Portas Towns Teams initiative.
Mary Portas, retail expert and television personality, came up with the ‘Portas pilot areas’ to help rejuvenate shopping areas of towns across the country.
Clare Cummings, from the CLES, has been meeting with local traders, businesses and organisations to identify ways that local commerce can weather economic changes and fluctuations.
Minehead Vision Manager Stephen Hooper applied for Minehead to be picked.
He met with Clare on Tuesday to discuss ways in which businesses and groups work together and the dynamics between them.
He said: “This isn’t just someone coming by telling us what to do and then nothing being done, the report will help highlight how the town has coped well with things and other areas that we can still improve on.
“We don’t need another plan, I think when Clare’s findings come back to us it will say that we’re already ahead of the game.
“We’ve already got the development trust and great community groups all working together to make things happen.
“The museum and heritage hub are just two examples of that.”
The report could also potentially unlock some development for the town later this year.
West Somerset Council is poised to develop a programme formed by the piece of work to set up an action plan to make recommendations happen.
Clare Cummings said: “After talking to many people, I have realised that there are common issues but I also see that Minehead has great potential to be resilient to economic fluctuations.”
The report will be published at the end of March when the other eight towns have been visited.