Tamworth wins support from France in best town centre battle

November 3, 2015

TAMWORTH has won international backing from across the channel in its quest to be crowned Britain’s best town centre in the Great British High Street awards.

Tamworth’s twin town of Vaujours in France has come out in support of the competition, with its Mayor Dominique Bailly going online to cast his vote in Tamworth’s favour, as well as encouraging the people of Vaujours to follow suit.

Mayor Bailly, who took to Twitter with his message ‘Je vote pour Tamworth’, said: “Vaujours is happy to support its twin town Tamworth in this competition. I have posted a ‘selfie’ on Twitter and we have launched a campaign on Facebook encouraging the people of Vaujours to vote also. We wish you good luck and hope Tamworth will win the title.”

It is hoped the overseas support will give the Tamworth campaign a much-needed boost as the competition reaches its final stages. Latest results reveal Tamworth is in second place behind Rotherham and ahead of Altrincham in the ‘town centre’ category of the prestigious nationwide competition.

Judges visit the town this Wednesday (November 4) and their determination will make up 50 per cent of the overall result, with online votes by members of the public making up the other half.

Tamworth Borough Council Cabinet member for Economy, Cllr Steve Claymore, said: “It’s great that we have won the backing of our colleagues and counterparts in our twin town in France and we hope this will help give us the boost we need to get to first place.

“We are really pulling out all the stops to highlight just how fantastic Tamworth is and how much the town has to offer and we encourage the people of Tamworth to get on board and cast their votes as the competition reaches the final stages.”

Tamworth is the only town in the West Midlands to have made it to the overall shortlist of 21 finalists competing in seven different categories – out of a record 230 entrants – in the Department for Communities and Local Government contest.

The Tamworth campaign needs the support of businesses, visitors and residents to be in with a realistic chance of winning. 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. Tens of thousands of votes have been cast in the overall competition so far.

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.

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.

Votes can be cast online until November 13 and people are also urged to share their experiences on Twitter using #GBHighSt #Tamworth.