St Giles Street in Northampton has been named as one of the country’s best ‘high streets’.
The street was shortlisted as one of the top three in the City category in the Great British High Street competition.
Now a campaign, backed by the Chronicle & Echo, is being launched to secure the public votes St Giles Street needs to be crowned overall champion.
If St Giles Street wins, not only will it get a share of prize pot worth £80,000, but they’ll win expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce – the Digital Garage on Tour – for the shops, bars and restaurants based in the street.
The news came after it was announced the street was to get a makeover from Northampton Borough Council, including new trees, planting, wider pavements and new road surfaces.
Leader of the council, Councillor Mary Markham, said: “I am genuinely proud of the work that has been taking place in Northampton to ensure our town centre continues to prosper in the future and I am proud too, of the investment the borough council has made towards that through the Business Incentive Scheme, that has supported new companies and created jobs, by turning more empty town centre offices space into homes and by offering incentivised parking to bring people into the town centre.
“It was difficult to choose just one part of the town to enter into these awards but we couldn’t resist highlighting St Giles Street and the Cultural Quarter area, with its fabulous niche retail businesses and places to eat and visit. I hope this competition raises the profile of Northampton on a national stage and, of course, it would be good to win a share of the prize money too.
“We’re going to be pulling out all the stops to make sure local people know about St Giles Street’s shortlisting. Now we just need everyone to show their support and get voting.”
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 you can cast your vote for free via thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk or on Facebook.
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.
“If you cherish the hard work going on in St Giles Street, then show your support and get voting.”
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.
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
Voting closes in November.