Witham's town centre could benefit from up to £1.2milllion of funding if a businesswoman is successful in a national competition.

Joy Vaughan, who is chairman of Witham Chamber of Commerce, has applied to the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) for a share of £8m from the Technology Strategy Board to help deliver ideas on how to use technology to encourage shoppers back to the country’s high streets.

The deadline for phase one of the competition, named Re-imagining the high street, was last week.

The initial phase will see successful applicants handed funding for feasibility studies, while the second will see them given up to £1.2million to trial their ideas.

Mrs Vaughan, who was unable to disclose full details of her application, wants to prove that existing technologies can be better linked in with high streets.

She has vowed to use Witham as a test case if she is successful.