What's Happening in Hemel Hempstead blog

Town bids for Queen of Shops project

Queen of Shops Mary Portas’s plans could be put into action in Hemel Hempstead if the town is chosen to take part in a pilot scheme.

The Hemel Hempstead Town Centre Partnership is bidding to be one of the first high streets in the country to try out the famous retail consultant’s ideas.

If chosen, Hemel Hempstead would be one of 12 pilot projects in the UK to follow Queen of Shops’ recommendations from her recent review of the English high street. It would also get a chunk of the £1 million worth of funding from the Government for the project.

Mary Portas’s ideas include getting local people more involved in future redevelopment plans and focussing on making high streets more accessible, attractive and safe.

The bid is being supported by Dacorum Borough Council. Councillor Stephen Holmes, portfolio holder for planning and regeneration at the council, said: “We can put forward a strong case to bring the pilot scheme to Hemel Hempstead.

“As national retailers continue to struggle in this economic climate, we need to work actively towards reversing any potential downward trend by maintaining the Marlowes as an attractive prospect for incoming businesses. A successful bid would provide some of the kick start needed to achieve that.”

Vince Williams, chair of the Town Centre Partnership and manager of the Marlowes Shopping Centre, added: “We’d like to invite retailers, landlords, businesses, residents, shoppers and visitors to our next meeting to help us create a really inspirational bid.

“To succeed, we all need to work together and come up with some practical ideas to rejuvenate our high street.”


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