Blackburn town centre has been named Britain’s best high street and won a £10,000 grand prize after beating hundreds of other hopeful high streets across the country.
In the third annual Great British High Street Awards run by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the large Northern town of Blackburn in Lancashire took home the crown and beat 26 other finalists.
900 entries and over 500,000 votes were cast for the awards and amongst towns that won first place within different categories; Blackburn was crowned the Overall Champion.
Following the big win, Blackburn town centre was awarded a £10,000 prize and a trophy at a ceremony in London on Monday, but will also receive expert training from Google’s digital task force for shops, bars and restaurants, as well as a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to boost their social media skills.
— BwD Council – MJ Local Authority of the Year (@blackburndarwen) December 13, 2016
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“Our high streets are going from strength to strength as this year’s Great British High Street competition shows.
“Town centres are being revitalised, with vacancy rates falling over the last year, and Blackburn is a great example of how hard work and support for local businesses can turn things around.
“The strong Business Improvement District is working closely with the council to invest in the town and put on a vibrant calendar of events that has seen visitors flock in their thousands to the town centre – long may it continue.”
— Grays (@Grays_Blackburn) December 13, 2016
Blackburn wowed the judges with the range of improvements put in place by the collaboration between the Business Improvement District and the council.
One of the first industrialised towns in the world, Blackburn has reinvented itself over recent years with the council investing £9 million in its heritage buildings to bring them back to their former glory.
Many proud residents and shop owners have taken to social media to show their happiness and appreciation for their town winning the award – Including Blackburn with Darwin Borough Council tweeting a photo that showed the Mayor of Blackburn, Hussain Akhtar, and other Councillors grinning proudly on their high street with bottles of bubbly.
@blackburndarwen Absolutely delighted for you and the people of Blackburn.
— Nybble.co.uk Ltd (@NybbleLtd) December 13, 2016