Monday, September 1, 2014

News: Rotherham in for High Street of the Year Award


Rotherham's rejuvenated High Street is set to go up against the country's best in the Great British High Street Awards, a Government-backed competition to find and celebrate the nation's best high streets.

The competition is run by the Future High Street Forum, which brings together leaders across retail, property and business to advise the Government on the challenges facing high streets and helps to develop practical policies to enable town centres to adapt and change. It was established to help accelerate the programme of local mentoring established in response to the Portas review.

The forum created the awards to "recognise the real strides that some high streets are making, and the incredible diversity and services they provide to their local community." There are separate categories for the size and type of place that the high street is in, and an overall award for the Best Great British High Street 2014.

The winners will win £50,000 of prize money and dedicated support and mentoring from industry experts. This could range from one to one coaching to advice on creating business plans to attending workshops on digital marketing.

Rotherham's Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration, Cllr. Dominic Beck heard at a recent meeting that the council will be submitting a bid by yesterday's deadline.

Rotherham will need to outline its innovative schemes aimed at regeneration of the high street, which began before, and have been extended by, the Portas Pilot initiative. This includes the business and financial support to independent retailers and the use of pop-up shops and the Makers Emporium.

Applications should outline how local people, organisations, businesses and local authorities have been mobilised and engaged. In Rotherham's case, the Future High Street Forum has already used the town as a case study in a recent report as an excellent example of a local authority, local land-owners and the business community coming together to develop their high street.

Applications should evidence how the high street has benefitted and how objectives have been met with Rotherham able to point to the reduction in empty units, the increase in footfall and increase in shopper satisfaction.

Simon Roberts, a managing director at Alliance Boots and co-chairman of the Future High Street Forum, said: "High streets and town centres form the heart of many communities. They are what many towns are defined by and provide a focal point for local populations.

"I welcome the Great British High Street Awards and the opportunity they provide to celebrate and recognise the practical management, planning and development that towns are delivering. On a personal level I am keen to see and learn from the success stories that will come through from the award entries."

Rotherham town centre website

Images: RMBC


Tom,  October 6, 2014 at 7:14 PM  

Unfortunately Rotherham town centre didn't make it on the shortlist.

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