Communities across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are being urged to back their local high streets by entering them into the Great British High Street Awards 2018.
So far organisations representing Stafford, Lichfield and Leek have registered an interest in the awards, which are run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, and sponsored by Visa.
The Great British High Street awards will not only celebrate the best high streets across the nation, but will also champion ‘Rising Stars’ – the most ambitious high streets which are taking a lead and working together to revive, adapt and diversify.
By shining a light on great examples of how high streets can meet the challenges of changing consumer behaviour and a changing retail environment, the awards aim to provide all communities with top tips for success. The deadline for entries is 22nd August. To find out more, visit Great British High Street and follow on social media #myhighstreet.
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman David Frost CBE said: “Our area has many attractive and historic town centres and some great examples of towns that are adapting to changing shopping patterns with innovative ideas to encourage visitors and broaden their appeal.
“These awards are an excellent opportunity to showcase the best of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire and I would urge our towns to get involved.”
Communities Secretary James Brokenshire MP said: “The Great British High Street Awards acknowledge how vital high streets are to our nation. They are crucial in creating jobs, nurturing small businesses and driving local and regional economies. We want to celebrate the best examples of high streets, as well as those individual businessmen and women playing a leading role.”
The local organisations registering an interest in the award so far are Lichfield Business Improvement District, Stafford Town Centre Partnership and Staffordshire Moorlands Council, on behalf of Leek town centre.
The 26 shortlisted entries in the Champion High Street category and 12 Rising Stars will be announced in October. They will then go through to a public vote and be visited by a judging panel made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.
Britain’s best high street will be announced in November, with the winner receiving a £10,000 cash prize for a local community project. Three other winners will receive a £5,000 contribution to a street party or community project.
Through the Future High Streets Forum, the government is also working closely with retail leaders and industry experts to support high streets and town centres to adapt and compete in the face of changing consumer and social trends.