High street group to meet minister

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A GROUP that is looking to revive the fortunes of Thetford high street will get the chance to discuss its plans with a top Government minister.

Members of the SORT IT scheme will meet with Grant Shapps, Minister for Housing and Planning, after a meeting was secured by Elizabeth Truss, MP for South West Norfolk.

SORT IT (School of Radical Thought in Thetford) has been working on an application to become a Portas Pilot. The scheme has made available grants of up to £100,000 to 12 locations nationwide to test Ms Portas’ recent recommendations on revitalising UK high streets.

The group now needs to demonstrate support for its plans by recruiting as many members as possible.

David Brooks, project co-ordinator, said: “We have already had many people coming in requesting membership forms and wanting to pledge their support for what we want to do.

“This really is about local people working together to improve the high street and we intend to continue working hard even if we are not successful with the Portas application.”

The group was officially registered as a development trust this week - a not-for-profit, community-minded group.

It also intends to set up a separate legal entity that will sell shares of up to £1,000 per person, used to purchase shop units.

Ms Truss said she was delighted to support the group’s aims.

“Thetford is a great town with huge potential to boost the high street. I am really pleased to work with the bid team to raise the profile and do all we can to win investment which will help generate trade and jobs.”

Facebook and Twitter campaigns have already brought in 1,000 followers for the scheme.

To contact the SORT IT team, call 01842 751975.