CALLING ALL CITIES: WIN UP TO £10,000 FOR YOUR LOCAL HIGH STREET
• Launch of the Great British High Street competition 2016
• Last year’s competition had 230 entries and over 200,000 public votes
• New categories for individuals, including high street employees under 25 years old
High Streets Minister Marcus Jones is calling on cities across the country to enter the Great British High Streets competition 2016.
Now in its 3rd year, the competition celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets and is an opportunity for councils, businesses, community groups and volunteers to learn from the very best.
Last year’s competition saw a record-breaking 230 entries and attracted over 200,000 public votes, with Bishy Road in York, a former finalist, crowned Britain’s overall best. The city category winner was St Giles Street in Northampton, which fought off stiff competition in the public vote from the other shortlisted city high streets Mill Road in Cambridge and North Parade in Bradford.
With new categories, new prizes, including the chance to win up to £10,000 each, the Minister said he expected to see even more competition entries this year.
High Streets Minister, Marcus Jones said:
“With a record number of entries and 200,000 public votes cast, last year’s competition was a massive success.
“This year’s Great British High Streets Competition is going to be even bigger and better, with new categories and a simplified entry form.
“I’d urge everyone to get involved to showcase the hard work of your community, in keeping high streets the life and soul of our towns, villages and cities.”
The Government is helping local business communities adapt to the changing face of high streets, with a £6.7 billion package of business rates support, to cut the rates for 900,000 businesses – with 600,000 now paying none at all.
Investment in the high street is up by 30%, the national vacancy rate has fallen to its lowest level since January 2009 and retail sales have increased year-on-year for the longest period on record.
The nine competition categories for places are:
- Best City Centre High Street
- Best Town Centre High Street
- Best Market Town High Street (small)
- Best Market Town High Street (large)
- Best Coastal Community High Street
- Best Village High Street
- Best Local Centre – precinct or parade of shops
- Best London High Street
- Rising Star – to recognise towns who are turning fortunes around
The four competition categories for individuals are:
- Best Store Manager or Employee from a National Retailer / Organisation
- Best Store Manager or Employee from an Independent / Small Business
- Best Market Manager, Operator, Farmer or Trade
- Best under 25 year old, manager or employee from a high street business
Nominations are now open across England, Wales and Scotland. The top 3 shortlisted in each category will be announced in October. They will then go through to a public online vote and be visited by the Future High Streets Forum judging panel made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.
From high streets packed with small, independent businesses to booming city centres with national retailers, the competition is looking for a range of areas to apply.
The competition launch comes as a number of the country’s leading businesses across the retail, leisure, property and digital sector have pledged to work with their local high streets to boost employment opportunities, unlock growth and support local communities.
Boots UK, Café Rouge and John Lewis are the first businesses with a strong high street presence to sign up to the government’s High Street Pledge to work with their local communities.
Details of how to enter the competition can be found at: www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk
The deadline for entries is Friday, 9 September 2016
- The Great British High Street competition is run by the Department for Communities and Local Government and sponsored by Boots, the British Council of Shopping Centres, Ellandi, Holland and Barratt, Marks and Spencer, the Post Office and Wilko.
- We have published a good practice guide that includes practical advice and guidance from last year’s winners, sharing tips and real life examples of how high streets across the country have risen to the challenges of a rapidly changing environment. For more information see http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/good-practice-guide
For more information or to enter your high street visit the Great British High Street website
Last year’s winners were:
- City Category – St Giles Street, Northampton
- Coastal Category – Amble, Northumberland
- Market Town – Helmsley, Yorkshire
- Local Centre – Bishopthorpe Road, Yorkshire (also chosen as overall high street champion)
- Village Category –West Kilbride, Scotland
- Town Centre – Rotherham, Yorkshire
- London – Pitshanger Lane, Ealing
- Best Newcomer – Faulkner Street, Hoole