Chair of the Stockton BID (Business Improvement District), Janice Auton of Poppys Hairdressing, said: “Having had the pleasure of running a business in Stockton Town Centre since 1992 I am thrilled that the regeneration of the High Street has worked to create a vibrant, exciting and customer friendly High Street.
“The wonderful combination of small retail, independent shops and nationally recognised chains allows us to work with a huge cross section of businesses, all of whom have the passion and drive to make Stockton a success.
“Stockton High Street has a fabulous heritage, beautiful riverside, great transport links and shopping, all complimented by the fantastic events programme which give businesses the opportunity to get involved. It really is a great place to be and that’s why the BID is fully supporting the High Street in this prestigious nationwide competition and I hope everyone living and working in Stockton helps us shout up Stockton too.”
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport, Councillor Nigel Cooke, added: “Stockton Town Centre is a welcoming and attractive place where people can come, not only to shop, but to enjoy events, take part in sporting activities and eat out.
“And it’s not just the look of the town centre that has been transformed, there’s also an abundance of flexible, multi-purpose space providing an ideal setting for our world-class events programme which attracts visitors from far and wide who go on to spend in the town’s array of businesses.
“Anyone who was in Stockton Town Centre earlier this month will have seen how the space was put into perfect use for the Stockton International Riverside Festival with hundreds of performances taking place while children happily played in the fountains.
“There’s so much to enjoy in Stockton Town Centre, from the shops, cafes, restaurants and bars to the daily appearance of the town’s automaton – The Stockton Flyer, to comedy and music at ARC or The Georgian Theatre or many popular events ranging from the town’s Cycling Festival to specialist markets and SIRF.
“I hope everyone joins us in getting behind our town and showing the rest of the country what a fabulous place it is by sharing their photographs, whether it be a spectacular shot of the fountains lit at night or a photograph of themselves with friends and family enjoying all that the town has to offer.”
The shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 18 October. Members of the public will then be asked to vote for their favourite ahead of the winner being announced in December.