Bishopthorpe Road in York has beaten off hundreds of high streets across the country to be crowned Britain’s best in a prestigious award.
A record number of 230 high streets entered and nearly 200,000 votes were cast across the 7 categories. This year the public got the chance to vote for the first time, alongside a visit by an expert judge from the Future High Streets Forum.
The hard work of traders in Bishy Road, in improving their high street to make it a great place to live, shop and work has now earned them the ultimate accolade – Winner of Winners in the Great British High Street Awards 2015.
They can now look forward to a share of prize pot worth £80,000 – alongside expert coaching from Google’s training taskforce for 100 shops, bars and restaurants.
At a prize ceremony in Admiralty House, London, High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said:
The excitement this competition has generated with a huge level of interest from the public vote is proof that the high streets are the life and soul of towns, villages and cities across the country.
Over the last year investment in property is up 30%, town centre vacancy rates have fallen to under 10% and retail sales have increased for the longest period on record – long may it continue.
Bishy Road fully deserves their title of Britain’s best high street and I congratulate them on their good work. We’ll be sharing Bishy’s top tips with other high streets across the country to make sure others learn from their success.
Bishy Road was a finalist from last year’s competition but has gone on to do even bigger and better things. It has started work on an ambitious new community app, toured around the country to help other local areas looking to learn from their success and hosted a range of new events and food festivals.
There were 7 categories in the 2015 Great British High Street Awards.
- City Location winner – St Giles Street, Northampton
- Town Centre winner – Rotherham
- Market Town winner – Helmsley
- Coastal Community winner – Amble
- Local Centre winner – Bishy Road, York
- Village winner – West Kilbride
- London winner – Pitshanger Lane, Ealing
Bishy Road was named winner of winners.
In addition because of the high-quality of this year’s new entries the judges decided to create a special new prize of Best Newcomer – which was awarded to Faulkner Street, Hoole.
The Great British High Street Awards 2015 is run by the Department for Communities and Local Government and sponsored by Boots, Costa, Post Office, Marks and Spencer, Tesco and the British Council of Shopping Centres.
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.
This year’s competition saw a record 230 applicants and for the first time the public had the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online with almost 200,000 votes cast.
Winners were decided by a combination of an assessment by an expert judge from the Future High Streets Forum and the public vote. Each had a 50% say on who won the competition.
Simon Roberts, Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Boots UK, and Future High Streets Forum Co-Chairman comments:
This has been a year of many great success stories for high streets. The competition has once again highlighted how healthy high streets continue to be at the leading edge of driving change.
It’s fantastic to see so many businesses demonstrating a culture where colleagues have the confidence to get involved, combined with the committed partnerships between local businesses, community organisations and local government.
The awards give us the chance to learn from the very best and continue to make our high streets even greater places to live, shop and work.
The Great British High Street Awards is run by the Department for Communities and Local Government and sponsored by Boots, Costa, Post Office, Marks and Spencer, Tesco and the British Council of Shopping Centres.
The Google Digital Garage on Tour is a workshop which includes sessions for businesses on finding and keeping customers online and the chance to have one-to-one consultations with Google specialists to chat through their businesses digital needs.
The final result across all categories was reached via an online public vote and expert judges assessments counting for 50% each. Between the 1 October and 13 November 2015 voting was open free online thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk or on Facebook. Across all categories almost 200,000 votes were cast.
For more information visit the Great British High Street website.
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