CHESTER has missed out on a valuable Government cash handout to regenerate its historic Rows.
But it’s not all bad news as the city could still benefit from grants for other projects in the future.
Last month Cheshire West and Chester Council competed against hundreds of other towns across the country in a bid to receive a slice of a £1.2m Government grant to regenerate troubled high streets.
But this week it was announced that only 15 areas in England are to receive the aid, and Chester is not one of them.
Instead, high streets in Brighton, Hatfield, Liverpool, Rotherham and Morecambe are among those who will benefit from the scheme this time round.
The project, dubbed Portas Pilots, was inspired by the ideas of retail guru Mary Portas – TV’s ‘queen of shops’.
It was hoped that, if Chester was successful, the £100,000 funding would have been used for a festival to attract shoppers and tourists to the area.
The six-week festival could have been launched as early as spring 2013, with the aim of plugging the gap between the Chester Food and Drink Festival and Chestival, providing the city with a regular stream of festivities.
But the city should not be disheartened, as it will still be able to bid for a share of £5.5m that is being made available for individual projects, according to Local Government Minister Grant Shapps.
Professor Steven Broomhead, chairman of Chester Renaissance, said Chester will not give up on the quest for regeneration.
“We’re disappointed but we will continue to seek ways to reinvigorate The Rows and if there are future opportunities to secure grants we will be keen to support them,” he said.