Barnoldswick shortlisted for national high street award

Barnoldswick has made it through to the finals of a national competition to find Britain’s best high streets.

BarnoldswickThe Great British High Street Awards aim to highlight new and innovative ways to boost high streets by shining a light on hard working traders and communities around the country. They will show what can be done to help shopping streets evolve to be places where people want to shop, socialise and work.

Barnoldswick has been nominated after forging partnerships with local traders, the local community, elected representatives and town and borough councils. They worked together to relocate volunteer-run events to the town centre, including ‘Bands on the Square’ – a free three-day live music festival of local talent.

Private investors have also taken over three of the empty pubs, creating high quality dining and entertainment facilities. Other pubs have been redeveloped for retail and service uses, and for housing. The area’s economy is now benefiting from the additional footfall, and vacancy rates have been substantially reduced.

The government is committed to helping high streets as part of its long-term economic plan. It is supporting local shops and businesses with a billion-pound package of investment that includes targeted business rate discounts, sensible planning changes and action that reins in over-zealous parking practices.

High streets minister Penny Mordaunt said: “There is a real sense of momentum behind our high streets and I’m determined that the hard work of people who have strived to make their high streets great places to work, shop and live is not only recognised but shared with others so they too can learn valuable tips for success.

“We have seen a lot of enthusiasm for this competition and I’ve heard first hand on my tour on high streets around the country how proud people are of their streets and the value they place on them as an essential part of their community.”

The contest is being run by the Future High Street Forum and received more than 135 entries from across the UK. More than a third of town teams – local groups set up to support their high street – entered their street.

The entries were whittled down to a shortlist of 21 and will now be visited by a member of the judging panel which consists of key players from the Forum. A winner will then be selected for each category and announced later this year.

There are seven categories – coastal, market town, city, village, local parade, town centre and London. Barnoldswick was nominated in the local parade category and has been shortlisted alongside the London Road area of Brighton and Bishopthorpe Road in York. The winners will win a share of £50,000 prize money and receive dedicated support and mentoring from industry experts. This could range from one to one coaching to advice on creating business plans to workshops on digital marketing.