New-look Portas team to be formed

Councillor John Robertson

Councillor John Robertson

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A cross-section of community and business representatives are wanted for the new-look management team looking after Berwick’s Portas fund.

Berwick Town Council now has the lead role in spending the remaining £130,000 of the £200,000 prize and has set out how it intends to handle the task.

Berwick town centre

Berwick town centre

Councillor John Robertson said: “We’re looking for a cross-section of the community to be part of the new management team, perhaps two or three councillors, two or three community group representatives and two or three from the wider community.

“We are looking for people to assess the funding applications and see if it meets the Portas criteria of improving the built environment or tourism. Skills in business development, retail and tourism, town planning, grant applications and public funding would all be useful.

“Personally, I hope we will have people suggested who are already leaders of groups in the town, whether that be the civic society or something else.”

It is hoped to have a list of possibles compiled by the end of January with a decision on the final make-up of the group by early February.

The town council was given the lead management role following the controversial removal of the town team by Northumberland County Council and Arch in September.

The management team will come under the auspices of the environment and regeneration committee.

It is proposed that any spending under £5,000 will be decided by the management group but sums over that figure must be approved by the environment and regeneration committee, the full council and Arch.

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