Lowestoft street ambassadors given government minister seal of approval

PUBLISHED: 16:39 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:43 28 March 2014

Communities minister Brandon Lewis visits Lowestoft to see work of Portas Pilot and how Lowestoft vision was formed.

Communities minister Brandon Lewis visits Lowestoft to see work of Portas Pilot and how Lowestoft vision was formed.

©Archant 2014

An ambassadorial scheme to promote Lowestoft as a tourism destination and a place to do business has been praised by a government minister who said he hopes other towns follow suit.

Brandon Lewis, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Communities and Local Government, toured the town today with members of Lowestoft Vision and Colin Law, leader of Waveney District Council.

Lowestoft Vision was given a mandate last May to lead a Businesses Improvement District as part of the government’s Portas town pilot scheme to boost high streets.

Mr Lewis saw the work of Lowestoft Vision’s two street ambassadors who provide a reassuring presence and give advice and directions to tourists and shoppers.

He said: “I have to say I really like the street ambassadors. I think it is a fantastic idea. Hopefully businesses benefit from it.

“Certainly in Westminster I will be talking about it. I will be talking to other town centres about using it.”

Mr Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, said he was impressed with the way Lowestoft Vision was getting stores, such as Marks and Spencer, working to help promote independent traders.

Danny Steel, Lowestoft Vision chairman, said: “It is fantastic to hear what Brandon said about the work of our street ambassadors - they are seen as the faces of town.”

Mr Lewis also discussed flood protection ambitions for Lowestoft with Mr Law and Mark Bee, leader of Suffolk County Council and visited Daisy’s restaurant which was flooded during December’s tidal surge.

The MP told owner Richard Pye to consider applying for up to £5,000 of government grants which will be available from local authorities from April 1 to pay for flood protection work. He also praised Waveney District Council’s response to the floods.

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