Belper has been named the best high street and market town in the UK, with judges praising the Derbyshire town for its success in transforming into a go-to destination for both locals and visitors.
The judges in the Future High Streets Forum’s ‘The Great British High Street Competition’ also highlighted an ambassadors programme which trained more than 80 local people, predominantly retailers, to raise awareness about what Belper has to offer. The town also had a declining vacancy rate, said the judges.
Other winners in the competition included Norwich Lanes, Colwyn Bay in North Wales, Barnoldswick in Lancashire, Broxburn in West Lothian, Wantage in Oxfordshire and Kingston in London.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Britain’s high streets have a long and proud history - and a special place at the heart of many communities. This competition celebrates the excellent work that is reinvigorating many of our high streets and highlights ideas that other places can use.
“High streets are an important part of our long-term economic plan to help communities reach their full potential, create new opportunities and secure a brighter future for people across Britain.”
The winners will receive a share of a fund worth £50,000 as well as mentoring from industry experts, sponsored by Bira, Marks & Spencer, Boots, Costa Coffee and the Post Office.
The heart of London, Lifford and Altrincham were also named as the latest areas to receive £26,000, £30,000 and £40,000 respectively to create new business partnerships from the government’s Business Improvement Districts loan fund.