The Government is set to accelerate the rollout of its ‘Portas pilots’ in a bid to boost the beleaguered British high street.

Twelve initial pilots will be named tomorrow (Saturday), as ministers choose a variety of locations to test ideas mooted in Mary Portas’ recent review. Each successful town will get £100,000 to fund their plans.

The government will also reveal this week that it is increasing the number of pilots in the next wave of the process from 12 to 15.

The next batch of winners will be named before the break-up of parliament, bringing forward the process by several weeks from the original schedule.

News of the changes comes with the national town vacancy rate in the UK above 11% according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium.