The Andover Town Centre Partnership (ATCP) is delighted to announce that Andover has today been named as one of the country’s best high streets in the annual Great British High Street competition.
Andover High Street was named in the top 5 of the Town Centre category, just missing out on going through to the public vote to decide the winner.
The Top 5 in the Town Centre category are:
Bury St Edmunds
*The bolded top 3 go through to the public vote.
This year’s competition saw a record 230 applicants and now, for the first time, the public has the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online.
Between now and November the public can cast their vote for one of the top 3 finalists in each of the 7 categories for free via thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk or on Facebook.
Winners will receive a share of a prize pot worth £80,000 including expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce – the Digital Garage on Tour – for 100 of their shops, bars and restaurants.
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. “Andover just missed out on the public vote this year but can take great pride in being named one of Britain’s best high streets”.
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. The first Great British High Street competition last year saw 135 communities battle it out to be crowned the nation’s best. Belper in Derbyshire emerged as the overall winner. Belper found that winning not only boosted town pride, but also had a tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall.
Chris Gregory, Town Centre Manager of Andover said: “We’re so proud that Andover has been recognised as one of Britain’s best High Streets and we hope this will be a foundation which we continue to build upon. We’ve been working hard to make our town centre a better place to live and work and next year we hope to go one further and win the competition.”
Alongside the public’s votes shortlisted towns will also be inspected by the Future High Streets Forum judging panel – made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business This year’s competition also sees special recognition prizes for towns that have become ‘rising stars’, or local people who have made an invaluable personal contribution to their local high streets being launched.