Stockton-on-Tees has beaten hundreds of high streets across the country to be named one of Britain’s best.

Stockton defeated Leominster and Dornoch in the ‘rising star’ category of the Great British High Street Awards, which recognises areas that are turning fortunes around.

Stockton will receive £5,000 and was awarded a trophy by High Streets Minister Andrew Percy at a ceremony in London earlier today (Monday 12 Dec).

High Streets Minister Andrew Percy said:

“Stockton deserves the very highest praise for being a category winner in this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“From the significant investment and hard work put in by the council to the collaboration of local traders, their innovative ideas really stood out. We’ll be sharing their excellent example to help others across the country learn from their success.”

Janice Auton from Stockton BID chair said:

“This is going to make a huge difference to Stockton on Tees, it will help us work with other businesses to create a unique shopping experience.”

Winners:

 City Location Winner – The Cathedral Quarter, Derby

o Runners up – Castle Arcade District, Norwich and Broadmead, Bristol

 Town Centre Winner – Blackburn

o Runners up – Hemel Hempstead and Banbury, Oxfordshire

 Large Market Town Winner – Bridgnorth

o Runners up – Hinckley and Market Harborough, Leicestershire

 Small Market Town Winner – Hebden Bridge

o Runners up – Chipping Norton and Thame, Oxfordshire

 Coastal Community Winner – Falmouth

o Runners up – Sea View Street, Cleethorpes and Prestatyn, Wales

 Local Centre Winner – Hoole, Chester

o Runners up – Claygate, Surrey and The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells

 Village Winner – Pateley Bridge

o Runners up – Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria and Langport, Somerset

 London Winner – Myddleton Road, Haringey

o Runners up – Romford and Waterloo

 Rising Star Winner – Stockton

o Runners up – Leominster and Dornoch, Scottish Highlands

The overall winner was Blackburn.

Winners in each category will not only get a share of a prize pot worth £100,000, but they’ll win expert training from Google’s digital taskforce for shops, bars and restaurants, and a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to boost their social media skills.

The Great British High Street Competition 2016, run by the Department for Communities and Local Government, celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets. It is one of the Government’s initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community.

This year’s competition saw a record 900 entries and 500,000 votes across all 14 categories, including the new categories for individuals and shops. On 18 October 2016 a shortlist of 27 places was drawn up to go through to a month long public vote.

Shortlisted ‘rising star’ high streets were visited by judges from Google. The judges scores account for 50 per cent of the overall result.

The second Great British High Street competition last year saw 230 entries and attracted more than 200,000 public votes, with Bishy Road in York crowned Britain’s best. Bishy Road found that winning not only boosted town pride, but also report a rise in sales due to increased footfall.