The Government has delayed releasing its update on the 27 Portas Pilot projects until later this year.

An update to the  pilots, which put some of the recommendations made by retail expert Mary Portas into practice, was due to be unveiled “in the spring”. However the Department for Communities and Local Government told the Independent newspaper that they would not be published until “later this year.”

The Portas Pilot project caused controversy earlier this year when it was revealed that the councils involved had spent only a small portion of the £100,000 awarded to get the schemes off the ground.

Eyebrows were also raised on account of some of the expenditure that has been made. Dartford Council for instance spent £1,610 on hiring a person in a Peppa Pig costume, according to the results of a Freedom of Information request submitted by independent retailer Paul Turner-Mitchell.