MID DEVON could land a share of a £1million funding pot aimed at boosting town centre shopping, it was claimed this week.

Last year, retail guru Mary Portas published a national review examining ways to stop the decline of high streets and the closure of local shops.

Among her suggestions were more free parking, national market days and the creation of 'Town Teams'.

Mid Devon District Council economic development manager Gordon Cleaver said: “Improving our town centres is a key priority for the District Council.

“We are actively working with local traders and traders associations to help promote and enhance the towns in Mid Devon.”

The Government is now looking for 12 town team pilot schemes in England with the project worth just under £85,000 for each area selected.

The idea is to encourage local partnerships and consortiums to come up with innovative ideas of their own about how to transform their local high street into a social place bust-ling with people, services and jobs.

Towns that are selected would become Portas Pilots with the money helping to regenerate their high streets.

Led by Portas, dubbed the Queen Of Shops, the initiative aims to put a number of her recommendations to the test.

She said: “I want the first 12 Town Teams to challenge the old ways of working - experiment, take risks and reaffirm their place at the heart of a community.

“I want them to create a place we can all be proud of.”

Mid Devon District Council said they will support any bids made by traders should they decide to make a bid for funding.