Sunday, May 27, 2012

Love the local

Bedminster has been named as the region’s only successful bidder in the first round of the Government’s ‘Portas Pilots’ – an initiative to get TV retail guru Mary Portas to help revitalise town centres....‘Bemmie’, as it’s affectionately known in the city, will now get a £100,000 grant and the expertise of Mary Portas and the project team (more here). Might as well have given Bedminster a bag of peanuts because that's all that £100,000 is. The focus on the issue of local shopping areas, and high streets, and the availability of some expertise, is welcome, provided it goes beyond govt public relations - but the amount of money is really tiny. What's really needed is a strategic, genuinely participative approach, backed by appropriate amounts of money which starts to shift the whole economic emphasis towards the local, regional and national economy and de-emphasising the global economy which is the source of so many problems.

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