Bid for cash to be creative

3:30pm Wednesday 4th July 2012

A BID has been launched for £50,000 to help Colchester’s creative industries.

Marc De’ath, who runs creative hub 15 Queen Street, is leading the bid.

He wants a share of the Government’s Portas Pilot scheme, which will see £1million shared among towns across the UK, to help creative industries in Queen Street and St Botolph’s Circus.

Mr De’ath said: “Colchester has a long history of people trying to do good things and we wanted to find a way to bring them all together.

“We want to focus on a very small area, like St Botolph’s, with a view to potentially expanding it into other areas.”

If successful, Mr De’ath says there will be three stages, beginning with asking people to come forward to share their memories of St Botolph’s, creating a memory bank booth and putting together a team to push the project forward.

The bid is backed by 15 organisations, including Colchester Council, Colchester Retail and Business Association, Firstsite and Keep Colchester Cool.

The successful bids will be announced before the end of the summer.

Paul Smith, councillor responsible for business, said: “The decision was taken that the £50,000 would have very little impact if it was spread around the town, so we have focussed the bid on that area of the town.”

The winners will be chosen at the end of the summer.

With the help of television presenter and Government “High Street Tsar” Mary Portas, they will use the money to liven up derelict shops, start new markets and advertise shopping areas.

The Government dished out £1.2milion in May this year, but Colchester did not apply.

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