Town teams not chosen as Portas Pilots can next month apply for a share of £5.5m put aside by the Government to help kick start efforts to revive their struggling high streets.

MPs for almost 400 town teams who missed out on the pilots will be encouraged to apply for their town centres to be Town Team partners and benefit from Government support and advice from retail experts.

Each town teams will be elilgible for £10,000 funding each.

The town teams will be invited to attend a meeting with the Association of Town Centre Management, which will operate the fund, in London on September 5.

This year the Government chose 27 town teams to be given £100,000 to rescue their high street under recommendations made to the Government by self-styled retail guru Mary Portas.

Local government minister Grant Shapps said: “Having witnessed the overwhelming response from over 400 towns to our search for Portas Pilots, I’m determined that the energy and enthusiasm they displayed is not lost, and that every area has the opportunity to breathe new life into their high streets.

“It’s time to put our owns first. That’s why today I’m calling on MPs to apply for their towns to become Town Team partners, so that communities can put their plans into action with the backing of retail experts as well as learning the lessons from other town teams from across the country.”

He has also called on towns to apply for the £1m Future High Street X-Fund, which will be awarded to the most improved town centres.

The September event will be followed up with action across the country leading to a two-day World Cafe of Ideas in October, to be held in Birmingham.

Margate Town Team, one of the Portas Pilots to feature in Portas’ television series about the scheme, has made headlines recently after a series of walkouts from members of the team.

Chairman of the Margate Town Team Robin Vaughan-Lyons accused TV crews of deliberately trying to create ructions between the team and businesses in the town.

Last week, Louise Oldfield quit as secretary and press officer of the team, while treasurer Ian Darker-Larkings, a bistro owner, and vice-chair Roxanne Tesslar, a tea shop owner, also quit.