Rotherham town centre is celebrating today after beating off stiff competition to win the best town category in the Great British High Street competition.
Rotherham, alongside Altrincham and Tamworth, was one of just three towns to be shortlisted in this section, and online voting took place throughout October and November.
Public votes contributed to 50 percent of the selection of the category winners, with the other 50 percent coming via the judging panel, made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.
Rotherham was visited by Judge Alana Renner, Deputy Communications Director at The Post Office, on 5 November.
Rotherham Council’s Advisory Cabinet Member for Housing and the Local Economy Cllr Denise Lelliott said the win was wonderful news for the town.
“We are delighted that the efforts to regenerate the town have been recognised in this national competition – having seen the other entries this is a huge honour,” said Cllr Lelliott. “A number of partners have come together to make a real difference to the town centre and their hard work and belief in the High Street is paying off.
“A combination of restoring the town’s historic core, creating high quality public spaces and supporting independent retailers to help differentiate our offer has been a winning formula.
“The response from shoppers and residents has been fantastic, our success in this competition is thanks to their support and the fact that so many people voted for the town is a huge boost to everyone working and running a business in the town centre,” she added.
Luke Ellis, from Ellis Fruit & Veg in Rotherham Markets, said: “It’s great news, how fantastic that people across the country are talking about our town for the right reasons!”
Charlotte Scothern of Patchwork Pig added: “It was such a boost for all the businesses that are trading here to see us shortlisted from 230 applications! The High Street and wider town has changed dramatically in recent years; the Townscape Heritage Initiative has undoubtedly transformed some of our most impressive buildings. Many of my customers can’t believe the changes when they visit.”
Rotherham’s Retail Investment Manager Bernadette Rushton said she was delighted the hard work in the town centre had been recognised.
She added: “Despite what the name suggests, the competition isn’t about saying we have the best High Street in the country or that we don’t still have challenges to face, it’s about recognising the work that has gone into regenerating the town.
“There has been a huge investment in the town centre from a number of partners, not least the retailers and building owners themselves and we hope to be able to show the judges just what fantastic businesses, old and new, we have here and just how far the town and High Street have come in recent years.”