Costain Supports Government Backed Initiative

10 May 2012

Costain, as primary contractor on the Evaporator D project at Sellafield, has given its support to the town of Whitehaven in Cumbria to become a Portas Pilot, a Government backed initiative which aims to rejuvenate struggling high streets in England.

Large numbers of towns are vying to become Portas Pilots, with the 12 chosen each receiving advice from the retail guru Mary Portas and funding of up to £100,000 each to help regenerate their high streets and town centres.

The Portas Review, published in December 2011, set out what she thought had led to the decline of the high street and made 28 recommendations about what could be done to breathe life back into them. She said many high streets had reached crisis point.

Among the recommendations are for "town teams" to champion local high streets and business rate concessions for entrepreneurs.

As part of their application, Whitehaven - the main town within the Copeland Borough - formed a Town Team and launched a supporting Youtube video which features local retailers outlining why Whitehaven should be chosen as one of the 12 pilots.

The first round of applications closed on 30th March and the Government has said it has received “hundreds” of applications from across the country. The second round of applications closes on 30th June.

Costain currently employs around 100 people within the West Cumbria area and works with over 30 local subcontractors. In line with Costain Cares, its long-term operational initiative to address the growing needs of its stakeholders, the Company has backed the Whitehaven Town Team's bid to become a Portas Pilot town. Rob Phillips, the Project Director, submitted an official letter of support.

"Costain has made a long-term commitment to the West Cumbrian area and we believe very strongly in regeneration and supporting the local community, therefore we are proud to back Whitehaven in its bid. We wish the team the very best of luck and will be on hand to offer any support we can,” said Rob.

Stephen Murphy, Managing Director of the Guide Media Group (part of the Whitehaven Town Team) said: "Costain spend a lot of money in our area. To have their backing is fantastic. I really hope it helps tip the balance in our favour.”

Luke Richardson, Costain Community Champion, added: “We wish the team the best of luck. The video is fantastic and it would be great to see Whitehaven become one of the 12 Portas Pilot Towns.”

To view Whitehaven’s application video, please click on the link below: