Miniature Market Town pulling in the Portas Pilot You Tube Punters

Market Rasen Market in busier days - thanks to Market Rasen Memories Facebook page for sharing inspiring pictures of a bustling high street

The small, run-down Lincolnshire market town of Market Rasen, with its 5000 population, is punching above its weight in the YouTube viewing stakes.

Its Portas Pilot video submission has clocked up 1,600 views to date, not bad for a town with a population of just 5000, compared to other Lincolnshire towns: Mablethorpe with 330, Gainsborough with 185, Brigg with 27, Grantham with 665 and most surprising of all, the
county’s historic city of Lincoln with just 216 views.

The Market Rasen Portas Pilot bid is also clocking up bigger viewing figures than
many Portas Pilot video submissions from big towns across the country, with
more views (in that crucial first week after the submission deadline) than Kettering, Ilfracombe, Wakefield, St Neots and Basildon to name but a few.

This shows the huge strength of local feeling getting behind the town to support
MR BIG, the newly formed Market Rasen Business Improvement Group, a 100%
volunteer group of local business people, who have pooled their skills and
resources, freely donating weeks of work, to creating a strong bid to be one of
the 12 towns to win a share of £1 million funding and Mary Portas’ expertise.

The group is not about to sit around and wait for the May decision on whether
they will or won’t be a Portas Pilot. Following only their 3rd group meeting on 2nd
April, they publically launched a 20 page + Action Plan on their blog and agreed
on 2 new teams of business volunteers to kick start their first 2 big ideas.

“MR BIG has always been about actions and quick wins,” says Darren Lince,
owner of the 5 star restaurant with rooms, The Advocate Arms, in Market
Rasen. “The Portas Pilot bid helped us focus our best ideas in 5 short weeks and
now we have the blueprint to follow, we’ve already started to make it happen.”

Big Idea No 1 is the BIG Town Tidy Up with traders taking responsibility for their
particular area. Community volunteers have already come forward to offer their
help and support and a volunteer database is under construction.

Big Idea No 2 is about putting the Market back into Market Rasen, and return it
to the stunning days gone by, starting with revitalising the Saturday market and
launching the town’s own gastro food fair.

With £100,00 of extra government funding announced just this week by West
Lindsey District Council to be spent in Gainsborough, Caistor and Market Rasen,
it looks like MR BIG is well placed to give the council serious bang for their buck.

BREAKING NEWS! With three hours of footage taken for the Potas Pilot video, there were quite a few funny outtakes. These are now on YouTube too:


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