Marple Community Forum & Noticeboard

Local Community => Local Issues => Town Team / Portas Award => Topic started by: Mrs O on August 27, 2015, 11:03:21 PM

Title: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: Mrs O on August 27, 2015, 11:03:21 PM
Any updates on this? We are nearly three years on. Any info' from the Town team? if they still exist.
Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: admin on August 28, 2015, 07:28:35 AM
Any updates on this? We are nearly three years on. Any info' from the Town team? if they still exist.

I think this is a fair question @Mrs O

I've pulled all the threads I can find where it has been discussed before together into a single board of its own. Hopefully it will be easier to follow then.

As I understand it some of the money was spent on the Marple branding exercise. £2.5k was mentioned in posts but I don't know if this is a factual amount.

I also recall hearing that some of it has been allocated to a Town Centre study of some kind but at the moment I can't find any details. I thought I'd seen it on the Civic Society web site.

It would be good to have some kind of formal statement from the Town Team about what's been spent and what's planned for the future.

Such a thing may exist but I'm not aware of it and can't find anything on the web.
Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: Mrs O on August 28, 2015, 04:35:08 PM
What a great shame that some of the Portas money was wasted on the rebranding travesty that is Hills, Mills and Canals that would lead one to think they were to visit a once industrial area like Rochdale. There are quite a lot of high Community charged properties in and around Marple, plus the extra business rates from the owners who decided to take a chance in Marple when they found Asda had failed to aqquire the Hibbert Lane site.The Friends of the park are gratefully by some of us doing the councils job for them and better!The park is one thing, but to maintain the town centre benches also, is just crazy as somewhere Portas money is lying unused. something is wrong. Very wrong.
Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: admin on September 05, 2015, 06:56:06 AM
Marple Town Team has forwarded the following report for publication on the web site. The report was sent to Lisa Durkin, Town Team Advisor - North West, in February this year. Lisa's response is also included. I've pasted it in as a quote and also attached the original report as a pdf too.

Quote from: Marple Town Team,  20 February 2015
Town Team Update - to Lisa Durkin, Town Team Advisor - North West
20th February 2015

We decided that instead of using the funding organising one off events, which may have had some impact in terms of a short term uplift in visitors to the shops and town, we opted for a more strategic approach looking at what Marple needed in the long term to encourage visitors and shoppers to the town in a sustainable manner. We already had a ‘Vision for Marple’ which is a strategic plan of how we will capitalise on our unique heritage and countryside to improve our economy overall. We formed Marple Vision Partnership as the organisational vehicle to drive the Vision forward. The Town Team plan was developed under the Marple Vision Partnership banner and is in perfect alignment to this.

Since Marple and its attractions is the best kept secret in, probably the UK, certainly in the Stockport borough, we decided first of all that we needed to communicate what Marple was all about and to do that we needed a Brand. So we created the Marple Brand. See where the Brand ID can be downloaded along with guidelines for use. See also the attachments: 1. Marple Logo 2. Marple Logo adapted for the Friends of Marple Station to use in their 150th anniversary celebrations of Steam Rail coming to Marple.

We held three consultation workshops involving all the main community interest groups/ business forum in Marple and surrounding close districts, so everyone had a part in creating the Brand and there was consensus on what we wanted to be known for. We are at the stage now of communicating that brand so it will be used consistently by all and also the Council. We are developing a promotional campaign.

The second piece of work we are undertaking is again strategic in nature, with the aim to address another key barrier to growth in the town, which is in the public realm domain - the movement of people and traffic in the centre and how that can be revitalised to encourage retail spending and tourism. We are commissioning an independent Urban/Place Design Study, which we will then consult on and aim to produce a strategic plan for how we as a community want to develop the town, in terms of public realm. ( this will feed into the Neighbourhood Plan that we are forming).

I believe that this small amount of funding has really kick started some serious work in Marple, work that addresses some of the main barriers to growth – ie. A) Awareness of what we have to offer and B) Access - Even if you get here, it’s not easy to get around and see what’s on offer.

The funding has a legacy which will contribute significantly to improving Marple’s long term economic prosperity and in the short term has helped to bring the interested parties together and galvanise some positive action.

We spent about £4700 on the workshops and the Marple Brand and a small amount on advertising. The remaining fund will go towards the Urban Design study. I believe we have really squeezed every last drop of value for the £10,000.

Reply from Lisa Durkin to Town Team Update

Thank you for this update – just what I needed and I will certainly feed back to DCLG how as little of £10k can make a big difference to places like Marple.

We aren’t sure if or what support or funding DCLG /Government will continue for town Teams and places going forward and that may not become clear until after the general election. Good luck with you final piece of work – your Urban Design study and keep your eyes peeled for any further support / news for Town Teams via Graeme and the ATCM website - have a look at some of the Town Teams case studies here.

[attachment deleted by admin]
Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: Mrs O on September 05, 2015, 10:46:28 AM
What a disgraceful waste of 10k. so up to now 2-3 years on £4700 has been spent talking about it and a logo that looks very much like the one we currently have on lamp posts. The remainder will be spent on more chatting and an urban design study. So they think they have squeezed every last drop out of it? I can agree with that statement. What is there to show for it? Nothing we can see, touch or use. Is somebody with a large pot of money waiting on the results of the design study to decide how to spend it? I think not. ::)
Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: gazwhite on September 05, 2015, 10:55:59 AM
Town Team -

Without contacting directly, is there a more recent update than February? It's September.

Is there a measure to back up the belief (A&B) in paragraph 5.

Are the financial accounts public information and will be published, and if so, when?

I didn't attend any meetings about this, so probably don't deserve an opinion, I didn't have/see a note of when it was. My bad if I missed it.  I think a more diverse group on the team may present greater opportunity for sustained growth and development.

Logo looks fab.

Best wishes and good luck.

Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: Mrs O on September 05, 2015, 02:33:24 PM
So quite a few of the original "Town Team" have jumped ship.I don't know if there are any of them left, as I don't know who they are now.I think I would of jumped too if the "Team" couldn't find a better way to use the money in three years! Can you imagine if they had £100,000 to play with?
Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: Dave on September 06, 2015, 02:31:02 PM
Opinions may vary on the 'Brand' which has emerged from the Portas money spent so far.  Personally I like it, though it does seem to have cost quite a lot of money.

However, I am very pleased to see in that report that the rest of the 10K will be spent on a strategic review of the town centre.  Because we all live here and see it every day, I don't think we residents always notice what a scruffy-looking place Marple is, with its ugly mixture of shop fronts and its poor quality buildings (e.g the Hollins, and the building opposite which houses M&Co).  I'd like to see some really radical proposals to redesign the town centre, with more trees, some hard and soft landscaping providing a sense of focus at the centre, demolition of some of the worst buildings, and improved traffic flows and car parking.  Let's have a bit of vision! 
Title: Re: What has happened to the £10,000 Portas Money?
Post by: Mrs O on September 06, 2015, 02:57:11 PM
Do we really need a brand? I cannot see any financial gain from it. I agree the town centre is not aesthetically pleasing.Saying that, visitors to the parks and canal are not put off it for that reason, some by lunch and do some shopping. If we can't get the street furniture maintained,what chance have we for it to be redesigned,partially demolished and rebuilt? It is a vision that needs millions of investment. We only had £10.000.Now it's as good as gone.