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Great British High Street Awards

High Streets compete for top honours

Forty of the nation’s high streets are fighting it out to be classed as the best in the UK, with judges focussing on the shopping experience that each town has to offer and community initiatives. 

A panel of independent judges will also visit each high street and take in the general ambience and feel, before awarding the winning street the Great British High Street trophy and a £15,000 cash price to be put towards a high street initiative, with the winners announced in November. 

Categories include Champion High Street and Rising Star. 

English High Streets shortlisted in the Champion High Street Category are Hitchin Town Centre, Freeman Street in Grimsby and Belper in Derbyshire.

In Scotland, Turriff and Alness High Street are in the running alongside Prestwick Main Street, while Wales has Narbeth, Treorchy and Swansea High Streets under consideration.

For Northern Irish shoppers, Newtownards High Street, Enniskillen Town Centre and Bow Street and Lisburn are up for the prize.

The eventual winner will be required to demonstrate their commitment to their local community, great customer experience, an environmental mindset and innovative approach to retail.

The announcement follows research commissioned by Visa, in partnership with the Great British High Street, demonstrating the positive impact the local high street has on communities.

Seven in 10 consumers say shopping locally makes them feel happier, compared to shopping online or at a shopping centre – the main reason being that they know where their money is going.

Half of consumers also feel their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community.

Spending time with friends and family (22 per cent) and offering a sense of community (21 per cent) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people happier.

After a rigorous selection process, 12 high streets from the South East of England to the Scottish Highlands have been shortlisted in the Champion High Street category, which recognises the nation’s best High Streets.

Additionally, 28 high streets have been shortlisted in the Rising Star category, identifying those which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify.

Sundeep Kaur, head of UK & Ireland merchant services at Visa, said: “We’ve seen some fantastic entries for this year’s Great British High Street Awards across both the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories.

“In particular, the desire to innovate stands out among this year’s entries, with high streets adapting to the challenges presented by a rapidly changing retail environment to find ways to thrive at a local level.

“As our research shows, high streets play a vital role at the heart of communities, so this is a great opportunity for those communities with shortlisted high streets to show their support by placing their votes on the Great British High Street website.”

Last year’s winner was Crickhowell High Street in Wales, located in a bustling rural town nestled in the Usk Valley on the edge of the Brecon Beacons.

It was commended for its community-led initiatives and strong network of independent businesses.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to the shortlisted nominees for this year’s Great British High Street Awards – the quality of the entries this year has been fantastic.

“High streets make people happier, and people want to see their hard-earned cash supporting the local economy.

“That is why we are celebrating those that go above and beyond to keep their high streets thriving for generations to come.

“Inspiring high streets like these will play a key role in the Government’s vision to boost local growth and level up our regions.”

Shortlisted high streets – Champion High Street category


1. Hitchin Town Centre, Hitchin

2. Freeman Street, Grimsby

3. Belper Town, Belper


4. Turriff High Street, Turriff

5. Prestwick Main Street, Prestwick

6. Alness High Street, Ross-Shire


7. Narberth High Street, Narberth

8. Swansea High Street, Swansea

9. Treorchy High Street, Treorchy

Northern Ireland

10. Newtownards High Street, Newtownards

11. Enniskillen Town Centre, Enniskillen

12. Bow Street, Lisburn

Shortlisted high streets – Rising Star category


1. Wellington, Telford

2. Daventry Town Centre, Northamptonshire

3.Northwich Town Centre, Cheshire

4. Willesden Green, London Borough of Brent

5. Sir Isaacs Walk & Eld Lane, Colchester

6. Rochdale Town Centre, Rochdale

7. Dalton Road, Barrow in Furness

8. Yarm High Street, Stockton-on-Tees

9. Tankerton High Street, Whitstable

10. Market Street, Ashby de la Zouch


11. Aberfoyle Main Street, Aberfoyle

12. Kempock Street, Gourock

13. Falkirk High Street, Falkirk

14. Lanark High Street, Lanark

15. Cowdenbeath High Street, Cowdenbeath

16. King Street, Castle Douglas

17. The Square, Kelso


18. Palace Street, Caernarfon

19. Carmarthen Town, Carmarthen

20. Llanelli, Llanelli

21. Mold High Street, Flintshire

22. Triangle House, Welshpool

23. Pembroke High Street, Pembroke

24. Caldicot Town Centre, Monmouthshire

Northern Ireland

25. Armagh City Centre, Armagh

26. Newry High Street, Newry

27. Broughshane Street, Ballymena

28. Carrickfergus High Street, Carrickfergus

Members of the public can vote for their favourite finalist at, with the public vote accounting for 20 per cent of the final scoring

Great British High Street Awards 2018 – Finalists revealed

Thirty-eight High Streets across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been shortlisted in this year’s Great British High Street Awards 2018.

The awards, run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, recognise and celebrate local achievements on High Streets and shine a light on great examples of how they can meet the challenges of changing consumer behaviour and a changing retail environment.

After a selection process led by a panel of independent judges, 26 high streets have been shortlisted in the Champion high street category, which aims to find the UK’s best high street, while 12 high streets have been shortlisted in the Rising Star category, which aims to find the UK’s most ambitious high streets.

Shortlisted high streets – Champion category

Queen Street, Amble, Northumberland (Northumberland County Council)
Gloucester Road Bishopston, Bristol (Bristol City Council)
Wimborne Town Centre, East Dorset (East Dorset District Council)
High Street Alton, Alton, Hampshire, (Alton Town Counci)l
Worcester High Street, Worcester (Worcester City Council and Worcestershire County Council)
The Pantiles, Chapel Place and High Street Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent (Tunbridge Wells Borough Council)
Hull Trinity Market and Hepworth’s Arcade, Kingston upon Hull, (Hull City Council)
St Albans City Centre, Holywell Hill, George Street, High Street, Catherine Street and St Peter’s Street, St Albans (St Albans City & District Council)
Guildford High Street, Guildford, Surrey (Guildford Borough Council)
The Thoroughfare, Woodbridge, Suffolk (Suffolk Coastal)
Altrincham High Street, (Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council)
Poole High Street, Poole, Dorset, (Borough of Poole)
Original Richmond Market Town, Richmond, (Richmondshire District Council)

Alness High Street, Alness (Highland Council)
‘Avenue 77’ – (A77- Pollokshaws/Kilmarnock Road Corridor), Glasgow
Main Street / High Street, Turriff, Aberdeenshire Council
High Street, Kirriemuir, Angus Council
Kirkwall High Street , Orkney, Orkney Islands Council
High Street Newport-on-Tay, Fife

Holywell, Flintshire, (Flintshire County Council)
Broad Street/High Street, Welshpool, Powys, (Powys County Council)
Crickhowell High Street, Crickhowell, Powys, (Powys County Council)
Carmarthen Town, Carmarthen, Carmarthenshire (Carmarthenshire County Council)

Northern Ireland
Cookstown Town Centre, Cookstown, (Mid Ulster District Council)
Portadown Town Centre, Portadown, (Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council).
High Street/Market Street Omagh, (Fermanagh and Omagh District Council).

Shortlisted high streets – Rising Star category

Northwich, Cheshire, (Cheshire West and Chester Council)
Burnley Road, Todmorden (Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council)
Barnes High Street and Church Road, Barnes, London, (London Borough of Richmond upon Thames)

Prestwick Main Street, Prestwick, (South Ayrshire Council)
High Street, Newport-on-Tay, Fife
Ayr High Street, Ayr, (South Ayrshire Council)
Pendre, Priory and High Street, Cardigan, Ceredigion, (Ceredigion County Council)
Narberth, Narberth, Pembroke, (Pembrokeshire County Council)
Cowbridge High Street, Cowbridge, The Vale of Glamorgan, (Vale of Glamorgan Council)

Northern Ireland
Main Street, Larne, County Antrim, (Mid and East Antrim Borough Council)
Bow Street, Lisburn City Centre, Lisburn Castlereagh, (Lisburn Castlereagh City Council)
Armagh City Centre, County Armagh, (Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council)

The 38 finalists will now battle it out in a public vote, which accounts for 30% of the final scoring, and will then have the chance to impress an expert judging panel as they seek to be crowned Britain’s best.

Those interested in participating in the public vote can visit for more information. The winning entries for both the Champion and Rising Star categories will be announced on 15 November 2018 at an awards ceremony in London.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to all 38 high streets shortlisted for this year’s Great British High Street Awards. The awards celebrate the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets and the quality of entries this year has been outstanding.

“Over the next 6 weeks they have the chance to impress an expert judging panel as they also battle it out in a public vote for the title of Britain’s best high street. This is a great opportunity to show your support for the hard work taking place on our high streets, so get voting.”