TAMWORTH is out of the blocks and into second place in a three-horse race to be crowned Britain’s best town centre in the Great British High Street awards.
Two weeks into the six-week competition, rankings have revealed that Tamworth is currently in second place in the voting behind Rotherham and ahead of Altrincham in the battle to win the top title in the ‘town centre’ category.
And with four weeks left to go, people are being urged to keep voting every day to try and get Tamworth into first place.
Tamworth Borough Council Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “It’s great news that Tamworth is in second place. It means we are on the right track. We are up against some tough competition and there are still four weeks of voting left to go so it could all change, but if we really pull out all the stops and get everyone voting every day, I’m sure we stand a good chance of winning.”
Tamworth is the only town in the West Midlands to have made it to the shortlist of 21 finalists competing in seven different categories – out of a record 230 entrants – in the Department for Communities and Local Government contest.
But to be in with a realistic chance of winning, the Tamworth campaign needs the support of businesses, visitors and residents as 50 per cent of the final decision is based on public votes, while a visit to the town by expert judges makes up the other half.
Votes for Tamworth can be cast online at www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk once a day, every day, so people are being urged to make voting for Tamworth a part of their daily routine, using all email accounts in their name.
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 100 shops, bars and restaurants.
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 are the best of the best, but also to help others learn valuable tips for success.
“Tamworth did fantastically well to make it into the final three, but now needs your help to get the title of Britain’s best. If you care about your local high street then show your support and get voting.”
The competition aims to reward those areas which are actively trying to protect and improve the high street for the future through various schemes and initiatives.
Tamworth’s application centred on the innovative work being carried out by Tamworth Borough Council and the Town Team, including the Creative Quarter plans, business partnerships, the I Am Tamworth project and a fantastic programme of free events.
A panel of expert judges will visit the town on a date to be announced and votes can be cast online until November 13.
Residents, visitors and businesses are also urged to share their experiences on Twitter using #GBHighSt #Tamworth.