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Liskeard spruces up the Portas way

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 26, 2012

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TOWN leaders have urged the Liskeard community to come together as it prepares to welcome retail guru Mary Portas back for the Big Clean Up this weekend.

Liskeard was selected as one of 12 Portas Pilots by the Government earlier this year, and it scooped £100,000 to help revitalise the town centre.

To kick-start the revamp, Mary Portas persuaded Mace, the construction company responsible for the Olympic Park and the Shard, London's tallest building, to project manage a mass voluntary spruce-up of the town in October.

As part of the project, a TV crew will also be filming the developments in Liskeard.

Gavin Davies, chairman of the Liskeard chamber of commerce, said the clean-up was a good idea.

"We are hoping to make the town a nicer place to be," he said. "I think it's a brilliant project and a great opportunity for Liskeard to show what people can achieve when everyone works together."

Local residents will be out in force on Saturday and Sunday to paint buildings, plant flowers and clean and prepare buildings for new tenants.

There will also be a range of entertainment on offer including music and street dance.

A spokesman from the TV show said: "Volunteers have been signing up since Mary's town meeting in the public hall and the response has been fantastic. We want the whole town to get involved. There is lots to do and many hands make light work."

Local businesses such as the Co-op and Boots have helped to fund the project. Local banks have also signed up to provide business mentorship to help new shops start up.

Mr Davies said a range of materials have been donated ranging from luminous jackets to paint and building supplies. Local WI groups will also be on hand to supply the workers with refreshments.

Part of the scheme includes shops being rented out without charge to encourage more trade in the town.

Mr Davies said: "A brighter town with more shops will bring more people in. If landlords will rent for free even for a short time, it will help fill the town.

"Everyone has been really positive about it and lots of people have already volunteered. Everyone wants Liskeard to be a brighter and nicer place to visit."

More than 100 people have already signed up to help but if you would like to get involved, e-mail maryinliskeard@optomen.com.

Volunteers are asked to meet on Fore Street at 9.30am on Saturday.

The Big Clean Up weekend is being filmed as part of Mary's Channel 4 show which is due to air next spring.

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