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MP calls on Lake District Towns to put themselves forward for High Street awards

June 18, 2014 1:48 PM

Tim in SedberghA national competition, the Great British High Street Awards, is being launched today (18 June 2014) by the government. South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on local towns to put themselves forward for an award.

The search to find and celebrate the best high streets in the country is being run by the Future High Streets Forum and the Association of Town and City Management. There are 6 separate categories in recognition of the diversity of Britain's high streets:

  • city centre
  • town centre
  • market town
  • coastal community
  • village
  • parade of shops

The government has supported local high streets with a billion pound package of investment that includes targeted business rate discounts.

Tim said: "I really hope that local towns put themselves forward. In the Lakes we have fantastic businesses, both big and small and we some wonderful town centres. I think we could have a number of winners in our area."

The competition comes as new analysis by Experian found that high street managers and shop owners are positive about the future, thanks to a strengthening economy and the emergence of the 'one stop shopper' who prioritises convenience and leisure. This is contributing to greater footfall and people spending more time on the high street.

The study identifies the rise of this evolving consumer behaviour where shoppers prefer 'convenience culture' such as click-and-collect services, so they can multi-task and have more time to socialise while doing their shopping in this convenient way.

Different parts of the country are catering for this in a variety of ways, whether it is giving older people easier access to services, helping bargain hunters browse the best deals online or offering city dwellers more fun and variety. This shift is being reflected in a high street that is rapidly moving beyond traditional retail into a 'great British' experience. The report points to the steady growth of convenience stores (+153%), cafes (+75%), fast food (+30%) and restaurants (+20%) as proof of this evolution.

To enter the competition please visit: http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/entry_form.html