Race is on to find best high streets
Government has launched second Great British High Street contest
VILLAGES in Buckinghamshire have the chance to win a share of a £50,000 funding pot to improve their high streets.
The Great British High Street 2015 has begun, giving towns and villages the opportunity to compete for a share of the money.
It is the second year the contest has been run.
Last year, 135 communities battled it out to be crowned the nation’s best.
The competition is designed to revitalise high streets by promoting the great work being done in them and by sharing good ideas.
People have already shared their thoughts on the best of Bucks.
Garry Brown, chairman of the Business and Traders for Chalfont St Giles group, said: “I’ve been pleased to see that the amount of empty shops in this area is falling.
“The great thing about shopping in Chalfont St Giles is the support that new shops get from people in the area. People are great at coming out and using the shops here.”
Oliver Sansum, who runs Oliver’s Opticians in Market Place, Chalfont St Peter, said: “The customer service that you get in local shops is much better than at out-of-town retail parks or in bigger towns.
“Shopowners here know their customers, and customers like that, as well as the fact that there is such a variety of shops here.”
As well as the cash prize on offer, winners will also receive dedicated support and mentoring from industry experts which could range from oneto-one coaching to advice on digital marketing.
The government’s high streets minister, Penny Mordaunt, is calling on communities to enter.
She said: “High streets are a vital part of our economy, supporting thousands of jobs in retail and leisure but they are also the heart of all communities, providing a great place for friends and family to meet.
“There is so much amazing innovation happening on our high streets. We want to reward the great work that is being done to improve these crucial assets as well as showcase ideas which can be a springboard for others to try.”
The competition shortlist will be announced in August. Those shortlisted will be visited by the Future High Streets Forum judging panel, made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.
People will be able to vote when shortlisted candidates are announced.