1 PORTAS REVIEW PILOTS APPLICATION FORM Please ensure you fill in ALL sections of this form. Guidance on completing this form can be found at SECTION ONE Organisational details The Department will only consider applications from either local partnerships or a consortium with a single lead bidder. This is to ensure clear lines of accountability and communication. 1.1 Organisation name (in whose name the application is being made if a partnership/consortium/ BID, state the lead) 1.2 Contact name and main role Levenshulme District Centre Partnership Lead bidder - Lawrence Hennigan, Chair of Levenshulme Traders Association Lawrence Hennigan 1.3 Address 908 Stockport Road Levenshulme Manchester M19 3AD 1.4 Telephone number (a) organisation (b) contact 1.5 address of contact 1.6 Website address (if any) Video link: Local business owner, Levenshulme Traders Association Chair (a) (b)
2 SECTION TWO Town Team/Partnership 2.1 Who will lead the pilot? Lawrence Hennigan - Chair of Levenshulme Traders Association 2.2 Who will be the Accountable Body (Please attach a confirmation letter)? Manchester City Council 2.3 Please indicate the other applicants involved in your application. Please add further rows if required Organisation name Organisation address and contact details Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese, Leader of the Council, Town Hall, Manchester, M60 2LA Tel: Main activities and role Oversees strategic regeneration and service delivery in the Centre Levenshulme Inspire Levenshulme Traders Association Manchester Markets Levenshulme Pub Company Bankley Studios and Gallery Ed Cox (Director) 747 Stockport Road Levenshulme M19 3AR Lawrence Hennigan (Chair) Tony Sproston, District Markets Manager, New Smithfield Market, M11 2 WJ Lawrence Hennigan (owner) Stacey Coughlin, Bankley Studios and Gallery, Manchester, M19 3PP A community resource including training facilities, and volunteering opportunities which will including the Town Team s shop unit. Represents and supports local businesses, and organises events and improvement projects. Supports the development and oversees the operation of the Market Local business and organiser of Levenshulme festival Provider of cultural input which will include the digital noticeboard.
3 TagPassiton Manchester Digital Development Agency Bubble Enterprise All FM Trove Foods Carol Thompson Dave Carter, Portland Street, M1 6ED Leigh Warton Levenshulme Inspire 747 Stockport Road Levenshulme M19 3AR Jason Cooke, Volunteer Co-ordinator, 19 Albert Road, M19 2EQ Marcus Saide, Trove A local customer loyalty scheme which supports local independent businesses in Levenshulme. Developer of innovatory approaches of engaging the community using social media. Supports businesses and social enterprises, and offers workspace and meeting rooms to support new entrepreneurs. Local community radio station which promotes activities in the District Centre Local Café and market trader assists in engaging traders and development of the market 2.4 Please explain how you will ensure information about the use of the grant, decisions made, and outcome of the projects, are made publicly available (maximum 300 words). This application has been produced by the Levenshulme District Centre Partnership, which is a group open to all businesses and community organisations based in Levenshulme. The group is in its early stages and we are in the process of expanding membership to new businesses and organisations. Should we be successful in our bid, a special open meeting of the Partnership will be held which will focus on how the grant is intended to be spent, however we present our initial ideas from the group in section 8. The Partnership will seek to achieve consensus and make decisions on the use of the grant based on a majority vote. Information on the Partnership, meetings scheduled and held, and decisions made on expenditure, will be available on the Partnership's website, and on the Manchester City Council website. We will also use social media to share information and we plan to set up a Levenshulme Town Team twitter account. Contact details of Partnership members will be available should anyone have questions or wish to be involved. There is an active free local newspaper in the area, the South Manchester Reporter, and we will work with them to
4 ensure that proposals and activity is reported. Since many of the community organisations based in the district centre are members of the Partnership, information will be shared via notice boards, leaflets, and on websites. One of the first activities we will undertake will be to establish an empty unit as the face of the 'Town Team' and information will be available here too. 2.5 Please explain how you will monitor and evaluate the impact of the grant (maximum 300 words). Our goal is to make Levenshulme attractive to residents, visitors and businesses. Currently the district centre is falling short on all of these aspects. We would ask businesses and community venues to monitor footfall and sales before and after implementation of the street market and the 'Hidden Gem trail' days. The effect on unit vacancy rates (currently 19%) would be monitored regularly including the impact of the innovation grant to reduce initial costs to new businesses of occupying vacant units in the centre. Provision of low cost market stalls would attract those considering self employment but without the money to pay for a regular stall. We would monitor how many of these stalls are taken by new, un-established businesses. The number of budding entrepreneurs who have been supported by business start-up support as a result of work of the District Centre Partnership would be recorded. We would monitor how many established businesses offer mentoring or 'buddying' support to new Levenshulme businesses, and how many take up the offer of support and occupy vacant premises within the town centre. We would carry out an online survey of the satisfaction of visitors, businesses and residents before implementation and afterwards. The survey prior to implementation would be used to gather information on what is lacking and what would improve the offer in Levenshulme. The survey taken afterwards would assess the impact that improvement measures have made on the desirability of Levenshulme as a place to shop, visit and do business. An important outcome we wish to see is involvement from most businesses and landlords in Levenshulme. We already have a strong developing Partnership, and receiving a Portas Pilot grant would enable us to build on this and mobilise even more businesses in the local area and beyond, showing what is possible when we work together.
5 SECTION THREE Criterion One: Mix Please tick all boxes relevant to your application TOWN/AREA NAME: Local Authority (name): Location Type Market Town New Town Rural Town Coastal Town Village Large Town x Suburban Parade
6 Other Where the following information is easily accessible: High average income level area x Low average income level area
7 SECTION FOUR Criterion Two: Strong Leadership 4.1 Please detail your vision for your high street, and describe how you have begun to secure local support and how you will build on this (maximum 300 words). Our vision for Levenshulme is as a thriving, distinctive and attractive place for residents and businesses. We want to build on the creative talent, quality retailers and areas of special interest present in Levenshulme but not widely known about, and promote them to local people and visitors through the concept of Hidden Gems. The district centre will be a hub of activity, with businesses and community organisations working together to create a destination of choice. A Levenhulme District Centre Plan was developed by Manchester City Council in partnership with local businesses and organisations in 2009, following consultation with residents, businesses and local partners. It outlines a vision to create a distinctive and commercially attractive district centre that offers a range of high quality retailers and community facilities. A District Centre Partnership was established in 2011 with its inaugural meeting held on 31st January Members of the Partnership include local business owners and landlords, community organisations, the local authority, local Councillors, representatives of the Levenshulme Traders Association, and Manchester Markets. The Partnership is being supported by Manchester City Council's Neighbourhood Regeneration Team who have a long-term interest in the development of the district centre. This is a newly formed Town Team who have an established terms of reference and are ready to take forward the innovative ideas outlined in this application. Cityco, the Manchester City Centre Management Company, will support the Levenshulme District Partnership with a commercial perspective based upon their experience gained in managing the City Centre. Successful partnership working is already evident in the centre, demonstrated by the popular annual Levenshulme Festival and Christmas events supported by many other businesses and community organisations. A Levenshulme Business Week was held in 2011 and was organised and managed by a partnership of local stakeholders. We plan to build on these successes through even greater joint working for the benefit of our local area.
8 Criterion Two: Commitment 4.1 Please detail all those organisations and individuals who make up your pilot. Please attach any supporting letters, detail of proposed match funding, and any other relevant information, including detail of the percentage of landlords and businesses signed up to the pilot.(maximum 300 words) (NB; Supporting letters may be sent by post to DCLG at the address on page 3) When the Partnership was established in late 2011,15 businesses and landlords committed to membership, along with a number of community and public sector partners. Following the inaugural Partnership meetings, commitments have been received from local organisations to deliver initiatives within the district centre. These include a Work Club at Levenshulme Inspire to support local people into work and promotion of Levenshulme through social media. The Council has committed 50,000 of funding to support the objectives of the
9 Mary Portas Pilot and the regeneration of Levenshulme District centre. In addition it is committed to match the 100,000 of Innovation funding received from DCLG to bring empty shop units back into use. Levenshulme is one of a small number of centres in the City targetted for the expenditure of this money. In addition the Council commits approximately 20,000 annually community grant money on Levenshulme District Centre. Events and activities supported have included the annual Levenshulme Festival, the Christmas Lights switchon, and community projects such Greening Levenshulme - a planting project along the shop fronts. Money for these activities, and in-kind support, is also provided by a number of businesses and community organisations. Levenshulme Traders Association have attracted 10,000 in sponsorship to support local businesses in the area. In-kind support will be provided from All FM who will provide free air-time to promote activities and events; CityCo, Manchester City Centre s management company, will support the intiative with advice and guidance; and Levenshulme Inspire will provide free meeting facilities for the Town Team and volunteers to staff the Pilot s shop unit. A number of local businesses and organisations regularly provide support and time in organising the Levenshulme Festival, Christmas events and other local activities. Manchester Markets is fully supportive of the proposals and will offer staff time and guidance in setting up and managing the market. Manchester Digital Development Agency will shortly be funding a post to support the use of digital and social media applications for community engagement, and have committed time to developing this in Levenshulme as part of the Levenshulme Partnership proposals.
10 SECTION FIVE Criterion Three: Potential for improvement We will be awarding funding on a value for money basis. It is important, therefore, that your bid can demonstrate the potential for improvement in your area. 5.1 Please set out (maximum 300 words) what you consider to be the key challenges facing your high street (including current vacancy rates) and why your high street has the potential to improve. Levenshulme District Centre is located on a major road into the city centre, and is almost a mile in length which means it lacks a natural central hub. Some shop fronts are poor quality, there is a high number of takeaway units with shutters down during the day and the centre has a built-up feel. There is a large number of empty shopping units, currently standing at 40 (19%). There is no distinctive start and finish to the centre and there is no identity or promotion at key gateways. Levenshulme has a positive offer which is hidden and underpromoted. There is a high proportion (over 90%) of independent retailers which creates a unique offer, although the lack of national retailers or an anchor food store means that Levenshulme loses footfall and expenditure to nearby centres that have seen greater levels of investment. Improving the image and footfall in Levenshulme would make the centre more attractive to national retailers whilst retaining the individuality of the area. Levenshulme has some very unique elements, such as the large Antiques Village and Bankley Mill Artists Studios, local creative businesses, and a rich and diverse heritage - we want to capitalise on these, bringing in more people from the local area and
11 beyond. Levenshulme is becoming more ethnically diverse, with a large growing Asian community, and is attractive to professional people looking for affordable home ownership. The surrounding area is relatively affluent, however the district centre does not capitalise on this, and there is great potential to increase the number of visitors to the district centre. There is a very strong and active community who are keen to improve their area. Levenshulme also has good community provision, such as Levenshulme Inspire, a social enterprise providing community activities and a café, meeting space, business support and office/ desk space, and a faith centre. Manchester City Council is committed to building a new service centre (library & swimming pool) which will be an important public service hub within the centre. SECTION SIX Criterion Four: Innovation.
12 7.1 Please set out (maximum 300 words) how you will test the Town Team approach, what your priorities are likely to be, and whether there are particular recommendations in the Portas Review you want to test. We are particularly looking for innovative ideas. The theme of our proposal is hidden gems. Levenshulme has a diverse, lively and creative community of people and businesses who would benefit from greater promotion and the opportunity to share their talents. Our proposals are to: Establish a regular street market with low-cost stalls, and on these days create a hidden gem trail around the shops and cafes, historical buildings, art and music venues with activities taking place throughout the centre. In conjunction we will expand an existing not-for-profit Levenshulme buy local, buy independent customer loyalty card scheme which provides offers in various retailers. Businesses will pay a one-off annual fee for inclusion with special offers for cardholders, and cards will be sold for a small fee to shoppers. We will support small retailers and entrepreneurs by matching them with established businesses and large retailers for 'buddying'. We have a community and business hub on our doorstep offering affordable office space and rooms for entrepreneurs. Identify an empty unit for exhibition space, with photographs of local retailers and artists. This will be a 'hub' for the Town Team, staffed by volunteers from Levenshulme Inspire. Establish a scheme with commercial landlords to reduce costs of empty units and allow new entrepreneurs to test their products and develop their businesses in low cost premises. The council will use and match fund Innovation Fund grant received from DCLG to support new businesses into empty units by providing a 50% subsidy to business rates for one year. Landlords will be required an incentive at least equal to this paying the remainder of the rates, or reducing the rent. Develop neglected public land within the centre. This includes improving 'the Village Green' to provide a programme of creative events through the medium of a digital noticeboard to promote the businesses and offer in the Centre. The creative contents of the noticeboard will be developed by local artists from Bankley Studios and Gallery. We will also bring a currently vacant plot of Council land in the district centre into 'Meanwhile' use and provide a much needed central community space, adding value to existing greening projects We will work closely with the Manchester Digital Development Agency to explore innovative digital applications and social media methods to engage residents, visitors and businesses in delivery of activities, and provide live information about points of interest and current retail offers. We will also assist in developing the existing website for Levenshulme Traders Association, managed by a local business owner, to promote the local offer and provide an online space for the Partnership. In order
13 to establish an identity for Levenshulme we will produce signs for the gateway points into the centre. Our Partnership has already established itself to deliver the District Centre Plan and a Portas Pilot grant will kickstart some innovative ideas to help Levenshulme meet its potential.
14 SECTION SEVEN Expenditure 8.1 Please set out (maximum 300 words) how you much you are bidding for, (maximum 100,000), and how you propose to use it. Please explain how the pilot will be innovative and deliver additional impact. Please also provide detail of other Government funding your partnership currently receives. We would like to bid for 100,000. The money would be spent on the following: Market There is currently no regular market in Levenshulme. It has been identified that a market could improve footfall, and we particularly wish to encourage budding entrepreneurs and provide a platform for the local creative community to showcase their work. We wish to establish a monthly market with very low cost stalls. Costs would include staffing and management, cost of equipment, power and water, and associated publicity ( 10,000) Levenshulme 'Buy Local' Scheme There is an existing scheme in place which promotes local shops by providing deals on production of a card. This is currently small scale, run on a not-forprofit basis and could significantly expand to bring in new businesses and gather support amongst the wider community and beyond. Costs will include production of cards and promotion of the scheme ( 5,000) Hidden Gem Trail and other community activities To promote the whole offer of Levenshulme, including heritage and cultural sites and businesses, we wish to establish a Hidden Gem Trail and associated community events on the days of the market. Costs would include design of trail material, production of leaflets, use of social media, materials for activities, cost of performers for special events ( 15,000) Enhancement of public spaces We wish to promote the local offer at key prominent locations within the Centre. This includes an empty retail unit in a prominent location and use it as promotional space and a base for the town team promoting the initiatives within the bid. The development of a digital noticeboard on the 'village green to promote a programme of cultural events and to promote local businesses supported by local artists. The programme will be supported by local artists. Turning a piece of empty land next to the high street into a community green space. Costs are for refurbishment of the unit, rent, artist time and promotion materials, planting for the green space ( 38,500) Promotion and Identity of Levenshulme There is a need to signpost Levenshulme at the key gateways to more clearly identify our high street offer. We intend to produce permanent gateway signs and banners. We will improve the internet presence of Levenshulme, utilising
15 and improving an existing site, as well as use other innovative social media methods. Costs include website development and management, social media development, design and production of gateway signs and banners ( 31,500) Since our partnership is in its early stages, the group has received no government funding. Manchester City Council has provided funding for various initiatives and activities in the district centre.