A VIDEO of hundreds of townsfolk dancing in the streets is becoming an internet sensation as they bid for help to breathe new life into the area.
From shoppers and schoolkids to police officers and business owners, the Seaham Shuffle stars are supporters of a campaign to secure the backing of retail guru Mary Portas.
Campaigners are hoping to win Church Street and the surrounding area status as one of 12 “Portas Pilot” locations and have now submitted their bid.
The YouTube video, which has already had more than 1,200 hits, shows the flash-mob style event, set to the soundtrack of LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem.
If the film, along with the written bid, captures the backing of Government adviser Portas and other judges, Seaham could be in for up to £100,000 in funding.
Steph Guidi, who runs Crazy Clearance with husband Ron, said: “Church Street was just chock-a- block. People were fantastic and the video shows how the community has come together.
“It feels like a breath of fresh air to now have the bid in and even if we don’t get anything out of it, it won’t be for the want of trying.”
The video is designed to live up to the “scary, bonkers and really quite fabulous” title that Portas gave to Seaham in light of its efforts.
It shows the wealth of support for the project and the town’s attractions including its coastline, popular North Terrace, shopping centre and Seaham Hall.
It features messages about Church Street’s struggle to keep going, the number of closed shops and issues including the lack of toilets and low footfall between it and Byron Place shopping centre.
The video, which goes up against other towns which have submitted bids including Durham, was screened at a première held at The Duke pub before going online.
Yesterday’s deadline for bids came after a six-week campaign.
Seaham Business Forum is also applying for up to £2million from a fund launched by the Big Lottery Fund for coastal towns.
As suggested by the Department for Communities and Local Government, business owners focused on a small number of the recommendations made by Portas to the Government.
Their action points include creating a town team to help manage the high street, taking part in a national market day, removing unnecessary regulations to allow anyone to trade and running a campaign to get people involved in neighbourhood plans.
An announcement about the winning 12 bids from across the country is expected in May.
In the meantime, the town team is planning a host of events, including an Easter celebration on Saturday, April 7, a Queen’s Jubilee and fashion show on Saturday, June 2, and a classic and Americano car show on Saturday, July 14.