City’s Queen of Shops bid

21 October 2009.......    Mary Portas at the Light shopping centre in Leeds, where she judged students bag design competition.
21 October 2009....... Mary Portas at the Light shopping centre in Leeds, where she judged students bag design competition.
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RETAIL bosses are bidding for a share of £1m and advice from retail guru Mary Portas to revitalise struggling high streets.

Wakefield City Centre Partnership has applied to become a Portas Pilot, a scheme launched after a review of high street decline by the star of BBC show Mary Queen of Shops.

The partnership, which is made up of the council, police and retail bosses, has joined hundreds of towns and cities which have applied for the cash and expert advice from the TV star.

The council plans to launch a business start-up service if it is one of 12 areas selected for the pilot.

Denise Jeffery, the council’s cabinet member for regeneration, said: “I am really pleased to support the application from the Wakefield City Centre Partnership and hope it is successful.

“We are always keen to take every opportunity to boost the district’s economy and help support local businesses.”

Pontefract Town Centre Partnership has also applied to become a Portas Pilot and will offer grants towards painting Georgian buildings and set up a youth facility in the town if successful.