Eight Birmingham high streets and shopping centres have made bids totalling almost £750,000 to a fund set up by TV retail guru Mary Portas.
Bids put forward for a share of the money include rock’n’roll themed branding for Erdington, a loyalty card scheme for Kings Heath and start up shops for fledgling retailers in the city centre and Boldmere.
Others are looking at parking improvements, late opening, green initiatives, marketing and doing up vacant or derelict shop units.
The eight bids to become “Portas Pilots” have been collected and submitted by Birmingham City Council.
A total of 12 high streets around the UK will be selected and share grants for from a £1 million cash pot.
The competition, in which towns can win grants of up to £100,000 for improvements, was launched by the Government in February following a report into the state of Britain’s high streets by Mary Portas, star of the Mary Queen of Shops TV show.
Her review made 28 proposals designed to breathe new life into declining high streets, including business rate concessions, penalties for landlords keeping shabby premises and champions for high streets.
The council’s cabinet member for regeneration Coun Timothy Huxtable (Con, Bournville) said the council had worked with businesses to collate and monitor the bids.
He said: “We want to support our high streets and wish all our partnerships well with their bids. They are all designed to improve the vibrancy of these local centres. I have been very impressed with the range and quality of our bids.”
l Saltley Business Association has applied for £84,000 towards marketing Alum Rock as a specialist retail area and parking.
l Sparkbrook and Springfield Town Centre Partnership wants £89,000 to create two major art structure as gateway and improve derelict shops.
l Pershore Road and Bournville Traders Association wants £96,000 towards encouraging broader range of retailers, evening opening and special events.
l Retail Birmingham wants £100,000 for the city centre to create start-up shops and fill empty units.
l Erdington Town Centre Partnership wants £80,000 for its rock, roll and retail project to mark the High Street’s rock history and links to 70s icons like Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath.
l Kings Heath Partnership is asking for £91,790 to set up a loyalty card, a stop crime scheme and environmental initiatives.
l Blooming Boldmere Partnership wants £100,000 to set up empty shop as incubator unit for small retailers to become established.
l Soho Road Town Centre Partnership wants £90,000 for car park management, empty shop and e-commerce initiatives.