Citizen journalism, business development and a chance for new businesses to try out risk free are just some of the ways that Bedford’s Portas Pilot money will be spent.
This week the team took charge of the £51,000 boost which will ringfenced in a Bedford BID bank account. And on Wednesday key players met up to refine plans to spend the cash, which is for improving Bedford Town Centre.
Part of the scheme will involve members of the public taking part in citizen journalism workshops. At these sessions they will develop all the skills they need to effectively use social media to promote and report on the projects.
Town team member Erica Roffe, said: “The aim of the citizen journalism scheme is to train people and give them more skills.
“These skills could be how to get the best out of an interview to blogging, social media and elements of production and filmmaking.
“But most importantly it encourages transparency in the Portas Pilot project.”
She added: “This is public money and it’s for the good of the town, it is important for people to have their say.”
Part of the money will also go towards securing one of Bedford’s 14 empty shops for use as a showcase for fledgling and established businesses to promote themselves.
The shop will serve as an opportunity for new businesses to try out starting the own shop risk free, with a view to taking on a market stall or empty shop premises in Bedford.
A spokesman for the Bedford Portas Town Team said: “We have done a lot of groundwork and now we are looking forward to putting some of our plans into action.”
The cash boost will also secure training for existing businesses including a session in how to promote your shop via social media in readiness for the Christmas period.
Efforts will also be put into a consumer consultation designed to find out what shoppers in Bedford really want from their town centre.
To find out more about the plans for the Portas Pilot money visit them on twitter by following @BedfordPortas
And you can let us know your views on how you think the money should be spent by sending a tweet to @BedfordTC
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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