Thomas Bridge 18 June 2014

Government launches Great British High Street Award

Ministers have today launched a national competition to find Britain’s best high streets, as figures suggest convenience shopping is growing in popularity.

Launching the Great British High Streets Awards, local government minister Brandon Lewis said he wanted to celebrate the ‘brilliance’ of shopping centres across the country.

Town teams can nominate their high streets to the award, with six award categories available including a London specific class.

Bids can be submitted for a city centre, town centre, market town, coastal community, village or parade of shops. Communities will be able to voice their support for local bids on the awards website.

Running throughout the summer, the competition is being managed by both the Association of Town and City Management and the Future High Streets Forum – who will also judge the entries.

‘Whether it is a market town, coastal village or city centre, there are so many high streets across Britain doing fantastic work and now every community will be able to get behind their home town’s bid to show how popular they are,’ Lewis said.

‘This competition will discover where the Great British high streets are and celebrate their brilliance.

‘I want the public to tell my panel of experts why their area should win. The most popular will get all the accolades that come with being named the best in Britain when we announce the winners in autumn,’ Lewis added.

The launch comes as analysis from Experian suggests an emerging culture of convenience shopping, with rising popularity of services such as click-and-collect.

Data suggests the number of convenience stores – favoured by ‘one stop shoppers’ –rose by 153% between 2004 and 2012.

Martin Blackwell, chief executive at the Association of Town and City Management said: ‘With strong partnership, shared plans for the future and effective management, our local spaces will continue to play a key role in improving the wellbeing of those who live, work and play there and continue their role as vibrant, economically successful and importantly places for people and business.’

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