Crickhowell High Street has been crowned the UK’s best in this year’s Great British High Street Awards, sponsored by Visa, winning £15,000 for the local community.
Located in a bustling rural town nestled in the Usk Valley on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Crickhowell High Street was announced as the overall winner of the Great British High Street Awards 2018 at a prestigious ceremony at Lancaster House, attended by High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP and representatives from the 37 shortlisted high streets.
Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire said: “Congratulations to Crickhowell and to all of today’s winners at the Great British High Street Awards. I am delighted to see so many people get behind their local high street.
“This government has put high streets at the centre of the Autumn Budget and we are determined to support them to adapt and thrive for generations to come.”
High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Crickhowell on being crowned the home of the UK’s best high street in this year’s Great British High Street Awards.
“The Awards celebrate the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify our high streets and the quality of entries this year has been outstanding.
“It’s a sure sign that, across the whole UK, there’s a determination from local communities to keep their high street alive and kicking and we hope this year’s Awards provides the inspiration for others to follow suit.”
Dean Christy of the Crickhowell Corn Exchange nominated the town’s high street following the introduction of an ambitious initiative aimed at driving footfall to the high street, whilst maintaining that local people had their say on what was best for their high street.
The community-led Totally Locally Campaign brought over 100 local shops and businesses together to promote one another and run initiatives to both boost their businesses and provide the local community with vital services.
The campaign also inspired 267 people passionate about the future of their high street to collectively purchase and renovate a former High Street pub – the Corn Exchange – into three new shops with three residential properties above.
Crickhowell High Street also boasts strong environmental credentials, being home to the first Zero Waste shop in Wales, whilst establishing Plastic Free Crickhowell – an initiative to reduce the use of plastic.
Awards judge Hemlata Narasimhan, Head of Merchant Services at Visa Europe, said: “Crickhowell is a fantastic example of a community that has made huge strides in transforming its high street and significantly improving the experience for locals and visitors alike.”
The Totally Locally campaign, which has inspired an army of volunteers to ensure the high street and surrounding areas thrive, is a shining example of how independent, family-run businesses can come together to help drive footfall and make the high street a better place for all. In fact, recent research by Visa found that a majority of people (52%) would use their high street more if it opened more shops, whilst four in ten (40%) said a more varied mix of services would make it more appealing.