STOCKTON’S High Street has been named officially among the country’s best after being shortlisted in the third annual Great British High Street competition.
Stockton High Street is one of only three to make the shortlist in the “Rising Star” category, and to be crowned champion, it needs public votes.
This year’s competition saw a record 900 entries across all 14 categories, including the new categories for individuals and shops. Now the shortlist has been drawn up and 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 viawww.thegreatbritishhighstreet.
If Stockton High Street wins, not only will it get a share of a prize pot worth £100,000, but there’ll also be expert training from Google’s digital taskforce for its shops, bars and restaurants and a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to further boost their social media skills.
High Streets Minister Andrew Percy, said: “Our high streets are the life and soul of towns, villages and cities across the country and the record number of competition entries, this year is proof of their continued importance to local life.
“From North London to Northumberland, great work is underway to adapt the high street to the needs of modern life.
“I want to wish all who’ve entered the very best of luck.”
The Great British High Street Competition 2016 celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets. It is one of a number of initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community.
The Government is helping local business communities adapt to the changing face of high streets, with a £6.7 billion package of business rates support, to cut the rates for 900,000 businesses – with 600,000 now paying none at all.
The second Great British High Street competition last year saw 230 entries and attracted over 200,000 public votes, with Bishy Road in York, a former finalist, crowned Britain’s best. Bishy Road found that winning not only boosted town pride, but also had a tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall.
Janice Auton, Chair of the Stockton Business Improvement District (BID), said: “This is really the icing on the cake and recognises the great things happening in Stockton following the regeneration of the High Street – for example, we’ve got the fantastic new fountains and the Stockton Flyer automaton which are proving to be very popular.
“The recent establishment of the BID shows that both high street chains and independent retailers are serious about working together to ensure Stockton Town Centre has a promising and vibrant future. This collaboration, and the High Street’s nomination as a Rising Star, point to a first class shopping and business offer in Stockton both now and for many years to come.”
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, hopes that will happen too for Stockton: “We’re proud that Stockton High Street has been shortlisted as one of Britain’s best high streets and we hope this will be a real boost for the town.
“This fantastic news comes hot on the heels of the Council being shortlisted for the Association of Public Service Excellence’s Council of the Year Award, so it is a real sign of the great work going on in the Borough.
“We’re going to be pulling out all the stops to make sure local people know about the High Street’s shortlisting. Now we just need everyone to show their support and get voting.”
Alongside the public’s votes shortlisted towns will also be inspected by the judging panel – made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business – including British Land, the Post Office and Holland and Barratt.