ISSUED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH STOCKTON BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
It's official – Stockton High Street is a rising star!
The High Street was crowned the winner of the Great British High Street of the Year Awards’ Rising Star category at a ceremony in London today.
This year’s competition saw a record 900 entries across all 14 categories, with winners being decided by a combination of scores from a judging visit and a public vote.
And after reaching a shortlist of three, Stockton High Street, which has undergone a £38million regeneration, beat off the competition to scoop the prestigious accolade.
Janice Auton, Chair of the Stockton Business Improvement District (BID), which led the award bid, said: “This is a truly great result and we are so grateful to everyone that voted for Stockton High Street. To be awarded this accolade right at the start of our BID journey is wonderful.
“It recognises all the great work that has been done so far but gives all the BID members the impetus to work together to really stimulate growth, encourage enterprise and attract more visitors and shoppers to make our High Street even better.”
The bid theme, “All the world’s a stage”, recognised the regenerated High Street’s ability to host events like cycling championships, street theatre and specialist markets.
And it wowed the judges with Google UK’s Head of Retail, Jamie Murray-Wells, full of praise following his judging visit.
“It’s really impressive the way that Stockton has drawn the link between performance and entertainment and creating a real thriving hub of a High Street,” he said.
Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “To win such a sought after national award is validation of all of the hard work and investment we’ve put into our magnificent High Street – it’s an immensely proud day for us.
“It’s particularly pleasing that the cornerstone of this success has been our relentless determination to deliver a town centre that is distinct from others – one that is built not just on retail, but on our history and heritage and our reputation for events and markets.
“By putting on events like SIRF, specialist markets, fireworks, and the Cycling Festival, we are giving people another great reason to come into town and boosting local trade at the same time. It’s a great example of how the Council supports the local economy.
“I’d like to thank everybody who voted for the High Street and helped it to win. We couldn’t be happier and we look forward to it going from strength to strength. We still have a long way to go, this is just a work in progress, but this award gives us the confidence that we’re on the right path.”
As winners, Stockton BID will now get a share of a prize pot worth £100,000, alongside expert training from Google’s digital taskforce for its shops, bars and restaurants, and a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to further boost their social media skills.