Greater Manchester town beats twelve other finalists to win national award
The judging panel for the Great British High Street awards have announced that Altrincham is officially the best high street in the land.
The Great British High Street Awards - organised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government - were announced during a ceremony at London’s Lancaster House last week.
Altrincham, which was the only North West town to be nominated, won the champion award for England, which came with a prize of £5,000.
Ten years ago our town was used as an example of a failing high street...
The judging panel visited each of the twelve other shortlisted towns during September and October and were particularly impressed by Altrincham’s “ongoing events throughout the year to drive footfall to the local high street”.
Each high street was judged on four different categories: community, customer experience, environment and digital transformation. The judges’ verdict accounted for 70% of the overall score, with the other 30% determined by the level of social media support for each town.
Awards judge Hemlata Narasimhan, Head of Merchant Services at Visa Europe, who sponsored the event, said: “Altrincham is a fantastic example of a high street that has made huge strides in transforming itself and significantly improving the environment for locals and visitors alike.”
The award is a huge leap forward for Altrincham, which only a few years ago was seen as the UK’s “ghost town” as a result of the number of vacant shop units, pound shops and charity shops swamping the area. These days it’s a trendy hub thanks to the now thriving market and a number of recent independent restaurant openings including Porta tapas, The Con Club, Blanchflower, Sugo and Tre Ciccio – many of which are award winners in their own right.
“We're so proud of our flagship hometown for their win for the 'High Street of the Year' award”, said Georgie Glass, marketing and communications manager for Tre Ciccio - whose chef Luigi Marino, has just won the nation’s 'pizza chef of the year'.
“It's wonderful to see how Altrincham has blossomed in the last five years, and we hope it only brings more investment and prosperity to the town. The Tre Ciccio team are just proud to be a part of Altrincham. We couldn't have thrived the way we have done over the last ten months without the support and camaraderie of the community."
Ewen Miller, Chairman of Altrincham’s Business Improvement District Board, which led the town’s presentation, said: “We’re delighted, the town is so very deserving of this amazing accolade. We know what a fabulous place Altrincham is and this award will now help to demonstrate this nationally.
“The town’s success is all down to its incredible community and this award has been won only by a huge team effort with so many people working tirelessly to create this great town, often giving up their time on a voluntary basis to make it such a special place to live, work and visit.
“We would like to thank everyone involved, especially everyone that voted for Altrincham. Recent years have seen a growth in footfall and a turnaround in the number empty units. Premises in Altrincham are now very sought after and we are seeing new openings all of the time.”
Local MP Sir Graham Brady added: “I am thrilled that Altrincham has won this prestigious award. Ten years ago our town was used as an example of a failing high street, now it is the English High Street Champion. This is a great tribute to all of those who care about our town and have worked so hard to bring success to Altrincham.”