Last week the nationwide competition revealed the twenty-one best high streets in Britain – three finalists in each of the seven categories.
Middlesbrough just missed out on the final but the judging panel were so impressed by the great strides made in improving the town centre that they awarded the town a special Rising Star award and £1,000 cash.
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.”
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.
Winners in each of the seven categories will get a share of a prize pot worth £80,000, which includes expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce for one hundred of their shops, bars and restaurants.
Councillor Charlie Rooney, Deputy Mayor and Executive member for Regeneration, said: “Middlesbrough’s town centre is the heart of the town, so I’m delighted to see it win recognition for the progress it’s making.
“A great mix of shops, restaurants and businesses is vital to any successful town, and Middlesbrough has all three in abundance.
“We will continue to do all we can to make Middlesbrough one of the region’s shopping and leisure destinations, and this Rising Star award will only increase our determination to win next year’s competition.”