TAMWORTH town centre has won national praise after being shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious Great British High Street competition.
The town is one of 21 finalists selected from a record 230 entrants this year in recognition of the investment and regeneration taking place in an effort to revitalise the high street and promote the area.
Tamworth has been revealed as one of three finalists in the ‘town centre’ category of the Department for Communities and Local Government contest and will now battle it out against Rotherham and Altrincham for the top title.
But to be crowned champion, Tamworth needs your votes. While 50 per cent of the final decision is based on a written application, the other 50 per cent is made up of public votes, alongside a visit to the town by expert judges.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, said:
“This is fantastic news for Tamworth. The fact that we have been shortlisted from such a high number of entries is already an amazing achievement and testament to the work that has been undertaken by Tamworth Borough Council and the Town Team Destination Tamworth to revitalise the town centre.
“We now really need everyone to get behind this campaign; to spread the word about the town’s great attributes and attractions and, more importantly, visit the website at www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk to cast their votes.
“Another important element of the competition is creating a buzz on social media, so we need the support of everyone who visits, lives or works in Tamworth. Please share your positive experiences of the town on social media using the #GBHighSt.
“This is something we can take on as a community by pulling out all the stops to impress the judges. We would urge all businesses to help promote the contest by displaying posters and encouraging customers to cast their votes. Winning would really put Tamworth on the map and would be a great boost to trade and tourism, not to mention the fantastic prizes that go along with it.”
If Tamworth wins, the town will get a share of a prize pot worth £80,000, as well as expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce – the Digital Garage on Tour – for 100 of its shops, bars and restaurants.
High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said:
“We had a record amount of high-quality entries to this year’s competition – testament to the pride local people have and brilliant work being done to boost Britain’s high streets.
“The local high street is the life and soul of many towns, village and cities across the country and these awards are a great opportunity to not only celebrate those that are the best of the best, but also to help others learn their valuable tips for success.
“If you cherish the hard work going on in Tamworth then show your support and get voting.”
Tamworth’s entry to the awards was based on initiatives such as the £5.5million Creative Quarter development, the Gateways Project to improve links between the town centre and Ventura Park, the I Am Tamworth initiative and an impressive programme of outdoor events.
Voting is now open to the public and continues until mid November. In the meantime Tamworth will be inspected by the Future High Streets Forum judging panel – made up of industry leaders from across retail property and business.
Posters will be made available soon for businesses and shops to display in their windows.
The Great British High Streets Competition is sponsored by Boots, Costa, Post Office, Marks and Spencer and Tesco and is now in its second year. A total of 135 communities entered last year with Belper in Derbyshire being crowned as the overall winner, resulting in boosted town pride and increased footfall.
This year’s competition also includes special recognition prizes for towns that have become ‘rising stars’ and local people who have made an invaluable personal contribution to their high streets.