Lincoln bids for Portas Pilot

City councillors on Monday evening approved Lincoln’s bid for the national Portas Pilot, a scheme which could see various central markets revamped and improved.

As previously reported, the Portas Pilot by high street expert Mary Portas (pictured) would give the council funding to improve aspects of Lincoln’s High Street.

The City Council, working alongside Lincoln BIG, will now bid for national funding of up to £100,000.

The team only have until March 30 to submit their proposal to become one of 12 areas granted with the funding.

Lincoln BIG would be the lead organisation in the pilot, while the City Council would be the body accountable for the funding.

The main focus for Lincoln would be its various markets held throughout the year.

As well as the permanent indoor markets run by the City Council and Lincolnshire Co-op in Cornhill and the Christmas Market, Lincoln BIG hosts a number of markets.

The pilot includes setting up a National Market Day to encourage entrepreneurs to establish low-cost business start-ups, as well as making the most of public spaces.

The City of Lincoln Council and Lincoln BIG also plan to set up a Town Team to look at the “long-term vision” of the city centre, and then create a marketing strategy.

The strategy would involve creating a brand and promote the Lincoln markets, give business advice to traders, develop new markets in different areas, weekly market days and even apprenticeship schemes.

Lincoln will be among hundreds of other UK towns bidding for the 12 places in the pilot, from a £1 million cash pot.

From Lincolnshire, the Market Rasen Business Improvement Group (MR BIG) is also bidding for the Portas Pilot to help reinvigorate its town centre.