IN JUST a few days Tamworth will find out whether it has been successful in its bid to be crowned the best town centre in the country.
The six-week campaign to win votes, impress judges and show off the town’s best attributes will culminate in an awards ceremony on Monday November 30 when the winners in the Great British High Street competition will be revealed.
Tamworth’s contingent will be represented by the Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, Tourism and Town Centre officer Stacy Birt and MP Christopher Pincher, who will join 20 other finalists in the impressive surroundings of Admiralty House in London’s Whitehall.
The event will celebrate the achievements of all finalists before revealing the winners in each of seven categories, as well as one overall competition winner and 10 ‘Rising Star’ awards.
Tamworth is bidding for the top title in the ‘town centre’ category against Altrincham and Rotherham, with winners to share a prize pot worth £80,000 including expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training taskforce.
Competition judges spent two hours looking around Tamworth town centre earlier this month – and thousands of people went online to vote for the town to win.
Cllr Claymore said: “I’m looking forward to the awards ceremony on Monday and finding out whether we have won. It would be great to bring the crown home to Tamworth, but either way we did incredibly well to make it to the shortlist. This alone is already testament to the work being done to breathe new life into the town centre.
“It has also been a great competition to take part in because it instigated a real joined up effort and coming together of the community to highlight and build on the town’s most positive aspects while thinking about what else needs to be improved upon.
“Businesses have thought more about how to promote themselves and capitalised on the national exposure the competition offered – and we even got the seal of approval from Prime Minister David Cameron who wrote to congratulate us on the positive work we have been doing.
“We would like to thank everyone involved in the campaign over the last six weeks and particular thanks from Stacy, myself and the rest of the team at Tamworth Borough Council go to TR Prints, Tudor House Bakery, Christopher’s, Bibbledy Bob, Monty’s Indoor Adventure, Tamworth Town Team, St Editha’s Church, Mainstream Print, Created in Tamworth, the Tamworth Herald and Tamworth Assembly Rooms.”
The town’s application focused on a number of aspects, including multi-million pound plans to regenerate the Assembly Rooms and develop a Creative Quarter, the Gateways Project to link the town centre with Ventura Park and the Railway Station, reduced shop vacancy units, a varied programme of outdoor events and free entertainment which draws visitors and boosts revenue, the 12-month I Am Tamworth initiative to encourage participation in the arts, the work of Tamworth Town Team and the continued efforts to keep the town welcoming and bright through Tamworth in Bloom.