Felixstowe: Business Enterprise Group formed to pitch for Portas funding

A NEW group has been formed to draw up a vision for the future of Felixstowe’s shopping centre – and is hoping for a share of �1million.

The Felixstowe Business Enterprise Group (FBEG) is hoping the seaside town will be chosen as one of 12 locations across the country to take part in the Portas Pilot Town scheme.

It believes it has the right ideas to take the resort forward, meet the challenges it faces, and increase trade, and feels the Portas project – with its national �1m pot – will be an enormous help.

The initiative is being spearheaded by retail guru Mary Portas and the Government with the aim of rejuvenating town centres as they battle for survival in the face of competition from out-of-town developments and internet shopping.

However, competition is fierce for the funding, with many other towns – including a number in Suffolk – staking a claim.

Chamber of trade chairman Andrew Rowdon said: “We felt applying for the pilot project was the right thing to do – if you don’t try, you don’t get.

“We have some really positive ideas and it would be great to move forward with those.”

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Felixstowe Futures and FBEG believes working with the resort’s Great Days by the Sea branding and offering more events to create a lively atmosphere, plus making it easier for people to visit both the seafront and the shopping centre, are the key factors for the future.