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Welsh high street crowned ‘best in the UK’ at Great British High Street Awards 2018

CRICKHOWELL HIGH STREET has been crowned the UK’s best high street in the Government’s Great British High Street Awards 2018, sponsored by Visa.

The town demonstrated a strong community-based approach to revitalising its high street, winning £15,000 for the local community.

Located in a bustling rural town to the east of the Brecon Beacons, Crickhowell High Street has been crowned both Wales’ best high street and the overall UK winner of the prestigious Great British High Street Awards 2018. Meanwhile, Cowbridge High Street, the heart of the Vale of Glamorgan market town, a has been announced as Wales’ Rising Star High Street.

The winners of the Great British High Street Awards, sponsored by Visa, were announced at a prestigious Lancaster House ceremony, attended by the High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP and representatives from the 37 shortlisted high streets, including seven Welsh High Streets.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said:

“Congratulations to Crickhowell and to all of the winners and finalists nominated for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“Across the whole UK, there’s a real determination from local communities to keep their high street vibrant and strong, and these Awards reflect that.”

Crickhowell was nominated for the Champion High Street award by the town’s Corn Exchange, highlighting the town’s range of independent, family-run businesses, as well as the community’s strength. The community’s Totally Locallycampaign brought over 100 shops and businesses together to encourage visitors and residents to shop locally.

The Chamber of Trade for Cowbridge nominated the high street for the Rising Star Award as it aims to become the UK’s first digital high street. The community has created an app that allows a network of high street businesses to come together on a single digital platform, enabling them to collectively advertise, communicate and transact with their communities and visitors. The app also includes augmented reality that puts cutting edge technology in the hands of small business owners.

Awards judge Hemlata Narasimhan, Head of Merchant Services at Visa Europe, commended the two Welsh communities, saying:

“Crickhowell and Cowbridge are fantastic examples of high streets that have made huge strides in transforming themselves and significantly improving the environment for locals and visitors alike.”

Speaking at the Great British High Street Awards 2018 ceremony, Dean Christy of Crickhowell Corn Exchange,commented: “We are absolutely thrilled to be named both the UK’s and Wales’ best high street and hugely grateful to both the Great British High Street Awards and Visa for making this dream come true! None of this would have been possible without the ongoing commitment, hard work, dedication and drive of the whole community of Crickhowell High Street and the surrounding area – it’s the people that make our high streets such special places and this Award is for you all!”

Kate Thomas of Cowbridge Chamber of Trade, commented: “It’s an absolute honour to be named Wales’ Rising Star High Street. We believe this award reflects the hard work and determination of the local community to transform Cowbridge into a high-street where local businesses can thrive and embrace the latest technology. It’s brilliant to be recognised as a forward-thinking community at a time when high streets are facing a lot of challenges and we can’t wait to celebrate with residents and business owners.”

In addition to a UK overall winner, eight high streets from each home nation won awards in the Champion and Rising Star categories, whilst High Street Heroes – those individuals who have gone above and beyond for their local high street – were also recognised.

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The full list of winners

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High Street, Crickhowell

England: Altrincham Town Centre
Scotland: High Street, Alness
Wales: High Street, Crickhowell
Northern Ireland: Portadown Town Centre

England: Burnley Road, Todmorden
Scotland: High Street, Newport-on-Tay
Wales: High Street, Cowbridge
Northern Ireland: Bow Street, Lisburn

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The Great British High Street Awards 2018, which is being run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, sponsored by Visa and backed by other partners, recognises and celebrates the local achievements of UK high streets and supports the communities in which we all live and work.

For more information about the Great British High Street Awards 2018 and details on all the winners, visit: www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk

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