Early in 2012, representatives from Vision Buxton, Transition Buxton, The Buxton Group, Buxton Civic Association, Buxton Churches Together and Buxton Against Tesco, along with a number of enthusiastic individuals, and with support from High Peak Borough Council and the University of Derby, got together to apply for funding as a ‘Portas Pilot’. This was a government initiative to support the regeneration of Britain’s high streets, in response to The Portas Review – you can download a copy of that review here: www.maryportas.com The application and its supporting video are here.
There was stiff competition, with over 400 towns applying, and Buxton was not selected to be a Portas Pilot. All of us involved in the bid, though, had already decided we didn’t care if we won or not – we wanted to do it anyway! Following a series of very well attended public meetings, we agreed to set up Buxton Town Team as a Community Interest Company.
Although we weren’t selected as a Portas Pilot we have since been accepted into the Town Team Partner sheme, which gives us access to a wealth of information and support from the Association of Town Centre Managers, plus a grant of £10,000 to get us started.