Craft Town Scotland (16/10/2015) - West Kilbride needs your votes in the national competition to find Britain’s best high street.
Two weeks into the six-week public voting period, a rankings release by the Great British High Street Competition has revealed that in the Village category, West Kilbride high street is riding high in first place.
But with four weeks to go until voting closes, that could all change.
Winners in each of the seven categories get a share of a prize pot worth £80,000 which includes expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce for one hundred of their shops, bars and restaurants.
With the public vote making up 50% of final decision, the team behind West Kilbride high street are urging local people to get behind their bid for glory.
Kay Hall, from West Kilbride high street said:
“We’ve been delighted with the level of support we’ve received since our shortlisting was announced. It’s a real boost to the village – a great team of people who are passionate about their community have worked together and achieved fantastic results.
Whilst we may be ahead, we recognise the tough competition in the other villages of Brigg and Twyford – so we’re encouraging everyone out there to keep on voting for West Kilbride once a day until 13th November!”
The Great British High Street Competition 2015 is run by the Department for Communities and Local Government and sponsored by Boots, Costa, Post Office, Marks and Spencer and Tesco.
Now in its second year it 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.
High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said:
“The local high street is the life and soul of many towns, villages and cities across the country. These awards are a great opportunity to not only celebrate those that
West Kilbride did fantastically well to make it into the final three but now they need your help to get them title of Britain’s best.
“If you care about your local high street then show your 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 13 November you can cast your vote for free via thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk or on Facebook.
Already two weeks in, nearly 50,000 votes have been cast.
Alongside the public vote each finalist will be visited by an expert judge – one of a panel of industry experts from the Future High Streets Forum. The judges have a 50% say on who wins the competition.
The twenty-one finalists for the Great British High Streets competition were announced on 1 October. Voting closes 13 November.
This year’s competition also sees prizes for the 10 ‘rising stars’ and special recognition awards to people or places that have made an invaluable contribution to their local high streets.
The first Great British High Street competition last year saw 135 communities battle it out to be crowned the nation’s best. Belper in Derbyshire emerged as the overall winner. Belper found that winning not only boosted town pride, but also had a tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall.
Image: West Kilbride Civic Society