The Town Team helped shape Bedminster’s bid for a share of the £1.2m ‘Portas Plan’ pot to regenerate Britain’s High Streets.

Having won the £100,000 grant the Town Team is determined to put the area’s key streets on the strongest business footing helping traders struggling to emerge from the downturn.

Ratings specialist Ben Batchelor-Wylam will hold special briefings for Bedminster business people at the Ciao Italia restaurant on East Street on June 27 at 5 and 6pm.

Town Team lead advisor George Grace said rates had become an increasingly crucial issue for many retailers.

George, who is also the founder of the Town Centred regeneration company which specialises in high street and town centre renaissance, said: “As part of our commitment to help traders and business people save as well as make money we are determined to ensure local people are getting the best value from their rates.

“Ben is widely regarded as one of the leading authorities on the ratings system in Bristol and   will be able to advise on a number of   rates issues – one of the biggest costs to businesses trying to make a living in a harsh economic environment.”

Ben Batchelor Wylam, associate director at Broad Quay based Colliers International, said he was looking forward to helping Bedminster’s business community identify everyday savings.

He said: “There are a lot of people who haven’t a clue about the workings of the ratings system and these briefings could represent a practical help for local traders.

“My role is to help traders keep their business rates as low as possible and to advise individual businesses on the best course of action.”

Bedminster in Bristol and Liskeard in Cornwall were among the first dozen towns selected to share the £1.2m ‘Town Team’ pot and receive a tailored support package from retail guru Mary Portas.

Bedminster used its funding for street art and theatre as well as a bicycle rickshaw service and the Town Team is already identifying fresh schemes to help improve the appearance and increase footfall in Bedminster.