LOCAL Enterprise Partnership New Anglia has given its backing to Halesworth’s Portas bid.

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The partnership has announced it will be backing four towns from Norfolk and Suffolk - Brandon, Halesworth, Ipswich and Hunstanton.

Earlier this year the government revealed plans for a competition to select 12 towns from across England who will be awarded up to £100,000 each to develop a ‘town team’.

The competition was the idea of High Street expert Mary Portas, and towns across the country have put their bids together.

With competition expected to be fierce, New Anglia LEP offered towns across its area the chance to gain its support, to help strengthen their case.

A total of 19 towns submitted proposals to New Anglia – with the LEP now backing four proposals from Brandon, Halesworth, Ipswich and Hunstanton.

New Anglia LEP board members Davina Tanner, general manager of the regional shopping centre Chapelfield in Norwich, and David Gledhill, chief executive of Hutchison Ports in Suffolk made the selection on behalf of New Anglia LEP.

Ms Tanner said: “We are delighted to have received 17 submissions from towns across the LEP area. It shows a real enthusiasm and energy within New Anglia for the themes of regeneration identified in the Portas report.

“We have chosen to endorse the submissions from Brandon, Halesworth, Hunstanton and Ipswich as those which best match the criteria and commitment outlined by Mary Portas.

“However we have been impressed by the wide range of plans and innovative ideas proposed by other towns and we look forward to starting work on implementing many of these initiatives to strengthen and enhance the retail offer across the region.”

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