Our town centres

Nelson Portas Pilot

Nelson has been selected as one of the first 12 Portas Pilots from a national competition of over 370 towns, a massive coup for the town. The win not only attracts £100,000 of Government funding but also attracts national media attention and support from the Mary Portas team with direct support from Mary Portas herself.

View Nelson's winning bid video.

Starting a New Business

Support for starting a new business is also available.

The Portas Review was released in December 2011.

Download the full Portas Review.

Following the Portas Review, the Government invited towns to bid to become Portas Pilot. Bids were invited which delivered new projects and innovative ideas in town centres. The Nelson Town Team bid to deliver two priorities:

  • Encouraging younger footfall in to the town centre, particularly from the College,
    Addressing the high number of empty properties

Projects and Events

Through the Portas Pilot project we aim to deliver:

  • A young person café with free wi-fi, healthy food and a space to work/socialise
  • Sports activities like morning bootcamps, lunch time yoga, sport events and sport tuition
  • Art/Vintage/Craft Markets
  • Opportunities to learn visual merchandising i.e. displaying college art work in empty premises
  • Launch and run a regular art and vintage market
  • Organise College 'Fresher's Week' activities in town, forming habits in students to use Nelson
  • Commission artist-led projects which generate footfall

Steering Group

The Portas Pilot Steering Group meets on a regular basis with aim of progressing the projects and priorities of the Portas Pilot. To keep up to date on progress the steering group minutes can be viewed here.