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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Think of the children!

Once again Cumbria has failed in its bid to attract cash and the chance to work with shopping guru Mary Portas.

Ms Portas has been appointed by the Prime Minister to lead a review of Britain’s high streets.

Earlier this year towns across Cumbria bid for a share of £1.2 million and tailored support from ‘Mary, Queen of Shops’. None was among the 12 chosen.

Now another 15 places have been picked to share £1.5m to help improve their town centres.

Again, none of the places in Cumbria was selected.

Carlisle, Wigton, Penrith, Maryport and Whitehaven all applied for the scheme and each had innovative ideas for regeneration.

With a record 23,000 empty shops in town centres in the UK, there is clearly stiff competition for the cash. But Cumbria’s failure begs the question of how run-down town centres elsewhere in the country must be.

Perhaps next time these things are assessed, town councils could arrange for urchins in rags to be strategically placed along the high street.

Buskers could be asked to play songs like Money for Nothing, Money, Money, Money and Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?

That’s probably easier than banning out-of-town retail parks.

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