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Speaking at the tenth anniversary celebration for the Evesham Market Town Partnership at the regal cinema in Evesham today, the town’s MP, Peter Luff urged the town to be confident of its future and to celebrate and exploit its past. He also pledged his support for the town’s bid for money under the so-called “Portas Pilots” to boost high streets.

Peter said,

“We need to talk up Evesham. I know it has its challenges from out-of-town retailing and from internet retailing, but it is town with an immense amount going for it – more than many other towns who would give their eye teeth to have the opportunities we have here and in the Vale.

“We also need to take advantage of national polices to support high streets.

“The government is breathing life into underused high streets by encouraging local partnerships to come up with innovative ideas of their own. Following a review by ‘Queen of Shops’, Mary Portas, we are funding a number of pilots across the country to transform our local high streets.

“There’s going to be a lot of applications for those pilots, so I will be supporting robustly the partnership and the district council in the bid I know is being made for Evesham. The support of the Market Town Partnership should really make our bid stand out from the rest.

“So I am clear that Evesham’s glass is significantly more than half full.

“It has been transformed visually thanks to the work done along the river, in the High Street and by the Wipers here in Port Street at this fine cinema.

“If Evesham felt like a place in decline at the beginning of the partnership’s existence, it doesn’t now.

“So to the District and the Town council and to The Vale of Evesham Commerce & Tourism Association VECTA, a big thank you for working together so effectively to promote Evesham.

“A particular thank you to Wychavon for the £30,000 annual funding that makes all the Partnership’s work possible. And to all the other organisations, such as the town council, that make additional grants and funding available to make specific projects come to life.

“Evesham, though, is a town of the future with a past to be proud of.

“So I have one special request. In 1265 the founder of English (and I do mean English) parliamentary democracy died in this town.

“That means 2015 will be the 750th anniversary of the Battle of eve sham and Simon de Montfort’s death.

“We don’t make enough of Simon – as a nation and as a town. It’s not too early for all the partners in the Evesham Market Town Partnership to start the planning for what should be a great occasion for the town and the county.

“Note 4th August 2015 in your diaries now!”


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