Pub­lic urged to back their own ‘beau­ti­ful’ high street

Com­pe­ti­tion: Towns in isles in­cluded on short­list for pres­ti­gious ac­co­lade

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY ALIS­TAIR MUNRO

Ler­wick and Kirk­wall will go head-to-head in a hunt to find Scot­land’s most beau­ti­ful high street.

The com­pe­ti­tion, run by Scot­land’s Towns Part­ner­ship and Keep Scot­land Beau­ti­ful, aims to find the coun­try’s best high street.

The pub­lic are asked to vote for their favourite, with the choices this year of Ler­wick, Kirk­wall, Rothe­say, Ayr, In­ner­lei­then,

Lin­lith­gow, La­nark and Mil­ngavie.

The short­list was based on hor­ti­cul­tural achieve­ment, en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity, and com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Last year Tur­riff won the ti­tle – with the fa­mous Turra Coo help­ing se­cur­ing vi­tal pub­lic votes.

Marj Chalmers, chair­woman of Tur­riff Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion, urged peo­ple to get in­volved say­ing that win­ning had been a great boost for the town.

She said: “We had lots of press cover­age and TV crews vis­it­ing Tur­riff and do­ing a re­port.

“The foot­fall was in­creased greatly and it cer­tainly put Tur­riff on the map with the busi­nesses ben­e­fit­ing from ex­tra trade.”

The pub­lic have un­til Novem­ber 10 to vote on­line and the win­ner will be an­nounced on Novem­ber 18, at the begin­ning of Scot­land’s Towns Week.

Phil Pren­tice, chief of­fi­cer of Scot­land’s Towns Part­ner­ship, added: “This com­pe­ti­tion is about cel­e­brat­ing the in­cred­i­ble work of peo­ple up and down the coun­try, who give up their time to im­prove their lo­cal places.

“We’ve been blown away by the strength of the en­tries this year, which goes to show that town cen­tre re­vival is on the up, and it’s driven by lo­cal peo­ple.

“Our high streets and town cen­tres are the beat­ing hearts of com­mu­ni­ties and lo­cal economies, and each has its own unique iden­tity and ex­pe­ri­ence to of­fer for both res­i­dents and visi­tors.

“I would urge peo­ple to get on­line and vote for their favourite en­try and help us cel­e­brate the suc­cess of our thriv­ing town cen­tres.”

Katie Mur­ray, Keep Scot­land Beau­ti­ful’s com­mu­ni­ties and place man­ager, said: “Con­grat­u­la­tions to all eight short­listed high streets.

“It is al­ways in­spir­ing to see com­mu­ni­ties and busi­nesses work­ing to­gether to help the places they care about thrive.

“For over half a decade we have cel­e­brated the suc­cess of com­mu­ni­ties, through our Beau­ti­ful Scot­land com­pe­ti­tion so we know how im­por­tant com­pe­ti­tions like this are.

“I’d urge ev­ery­one to vote – work­ing to­gether we can all en­joy and cel­e­brate cleaner, greener and more beau­ti­ful high streets.”

With two con­tenders in the fi­nal short­list of eight, the odds are good that the north­ern isles will land the “Scot­land’s most beau­ti­ful high street” ti­tle.

Both Ler­wick in Shet­land and Kirk­wall in Orkney are among the fi­nal­ists, but they do face hot com­pe­ti­tion from the likes of Lin­lith­gow, La­nark and Rothe­say.

Last year, the fa­mous Turra Coo helped Tur­riff in Aberdeen­shire win the com­pe­ti­tion, and the com­mu­nity went on to reap the ben­e­fits of be­ing able to wear the crown for 12 months.

So, as Ler­wick and Kirk­wall pre­pare to do bat­tle, there’s a lot more than just in­ter-island pride at stake.

COV­ETED AWARD: Tur­riff was named last year as hav­ing the coun­try’s most beau­ti­ful high street in the Keep Scot­land Beau­ti­ful and Scot­land’s Towns Part­ner­ship con­test

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