October 21, 2015
Aim high for this High Street
The high street is the traditional hub of any city, town or village. If the high street is vibrant the wider neighbourhood is generally vibrant too. We all know when a high street is working well but it’s not so easy to pin down why something works in one place but not in another. And that’s why there is so much interest in highlighting wherever high streets are thriving. There’s even a competition to find the Great British High Street. Just one high street in Scotland has made it through to the Final – and it’s a community effort that makes it great. They need your vote.
West Kilbride Village needs your vote as local high streets battle to be Britain’s best
West Kilbride has today been named as one of the country’s best high streets by being shortlisted in the annual Great British High Street competition.
West Kilbride high street has been named alongside Brigg and Twyford as one of the top 3 in the village category. Now, to be crowned champion, West Kilbride needs your votes.
This year’s competition saw a record 230 applicants and now, for the first time, the public has the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online. Between now and November you can cast your vote for free via thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk or on Facebook.
If West Kilbride wins, not only will they get a share of prize pot worth £80,000, but they’ll win expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce – the Digital Garage on Tour – for one hundred of their shops, bars and restaurants.
High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said: “We had a record amount of high-quality entries to this year’s competition – testament to the pride local people have and brilliant work being done to boost Britain’s high streets. The local high street is the life and soul of many towns, villages and cities across the country and these awards are a great opportunity to not only celebrate those that are the best of the best, but also to help others learn their valuable tips for success.
“If you cherish the hard work going on in West Kilbride then show your support and get voting.”
The Great British High Street Competition 2015 – sponsored by Boots, Costa, Post Office, Marks and Spencer and Tesco – is now in its second year and is one of a number of initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community. These include a billion pound package of investment ranging from targeted business rate discounts, sensible planning changes and action that reins in over-zealous parking practices.
The first Great British High Street competition last year saw 135 communities battle it out to be crowned the nation’s best. Belper in Derbyshire emerged as the overall winner. Belper found that winning not only boosted town pride, but also had a tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall. Kay Hall, who led West KIlbride’s entry for the competition, hopes that will happen for West Kilbride too.
“We’re delighted that West Kilbride has been selected for Britain’s best high street competition and we hope this will be a real boost for the village.
“We’re going to be pulling out all the stops to make sure local people know about West Kilbride’s shortlisting. We now need everyone to show their support and get voting.”
Alongside the public’s votes those shortlisted will also be inspected by the Future High Streets Forum judging panel – made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.
This year’s competition also sees special recognition prizes for towns that have become ‘rising stars’, or local people who have made an invaluable personal contribution to their local high streets being launched.
To go online to cast your vote, visit the Great British High Street website and follow @TheGBHighSt on Twitter. Voting closes in November.