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Mary Portas praises Stockport and Marple launch pilot presentations

Bids that could bring in around £200,000 to the borough have been submitted to the Portas Pilot scheme.

Stockport and Marple have both applied to the scheme which was set up by the government and retail guru Mary Portas to help out struggling town centres.

The video submitted with Stockport’s bid was made by 19 year old Joe Barratt and has already got some attention for the ‘Queen of Shops’ herself.

Ms Portas posted Joe’s video on social networking site Twitter alongside the tweet: “This evening’s video. Again this ones been led by the young and fearless people of Stockport”. Her comments have already been re-tweeted over 50 times.

Joe, who was the organiser of the 2011 Screen Stockport short film festival, shot the five minute film in the Stockport town centre and around the historic market.

The bid for Stockport includes proposals for an art and entertainment centre and an expansion of the Vintage Village market.

It also aims to develop Stockport Plaza to help young graduates set up their own businesses.

Marple’s vision is to create a 21st century town that caters of the community and visitors.

Local business owner Mick McPhee who is one of the venture’s supporters said: “The bid proposal focuses on promoting Marple as great place for a day out.

“If our bid is successful the plan is to open a Visitor Centre with a full time centre manager aided by volunteers, develop a brand for Marple and heavily promote Marple as a visitor destination.”

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