Northampton’s St Giles Street wins high street of the year in national competition

St Giles Street has been named as one of seven high streets of the year in a national competition.
St Giles Street has been named as one of seven high streets of the year in a national competition.
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St Giles Street has been named high street of the year in a national competition after impressing judges and coming out top in a public vote.

The shopping destination, recently described as the “hidden gem” of Northampton, beat off Bradford’s North Parade and Mill Road in Cambridge to be named best high street in the City Location category.

The contest, run by the Department for Communities and Local Government and sponsored by a number of major retailers, saw 140,000 members of the public vote for their favourite street.

Those votes were taken into account alongside the decision of the British High Street of the Year judges, which included chief executive of Home Retail Group, John Walden.

MP for Northampton South David Mackintosh announced that St Giles has won via Twitter, posting a picture of himself accepting the award alongside competition judges and Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for regeneration, Councillor Tim Hadland (Con, Old Duston).

The MP tweeted: “Delighted that St Giles Street WON the category in The Great British High Street competition #LoveNorthampton.”

Winners in each of the seven categories will get a share of a prize pot worth £80,000 which includes receiving expert trading tips from Google’s training taskforce.

This year’s competition saw a record 230 applicants.

Last month, Northampton Borough Council revealed £3 million plans to give St Giles a pedestrian-friendly makeover after Christmas.

The shopping destination, known for its number of independent shops, will be given wider pavements, additional parking bays and features to the eastern end of the street intended to slow traffic and make it easier to cross.