Now in its 3rd year, the competition celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets and is an opportunity for councils, businesses, community groups and volunteers to learn from the very best.
Last year’s competition saw a record-breaking 230 entries and attracted over 200,000 public votes, with Bishy Road in York, a former finalist, crowned Britain’s best.
With new categories, new prizes, including the chance to win up to £ 10,000 each, the minister said he expected to see even more competition entries, this year.
The government is helping local business communities adapt to the changing face of high streets, with a £6.7 billion package of business rates support, to cut the rates for 900,000 businesses – with 600,000 now paying none at all.
Investment in the high street is up by 30%, the national vacancy rate has fallen to its lowest level since January 2009 and retail sales have increased year-on-year for the longest period on record.
As well as the cash prize, winners will also receive dedicated support and mentoring from industry experts which could range from one to one coaching to advice on digital marketing.
Internet giant, Google’s expert training taskforce will also provide category winners with training on how to make the most of their digital skills.
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association and Chairman of the High Streets Partnership Working Group
This is a hugely exciting time for our high streets. We have seen some really excellent examples where great leadership, collaboration and partnership have led to regeneration, more footfall and as a result, more sustainable high streets.
The 2016 Great British High Street competition is supported by great brands and companies who between them represent over 22,000 outlets. Just look at what has already been achieved, and encourage your local high street to enter this year.
Nominations are now open across England, Wales and Scotland. The top 3 shortlisted in each category will be announced in October. They will then go through to a public online vote and be visited by the Future High Streets Forum judging panel made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.