Traders, business leaders, community champions and shoppers welcomed a visiting ‘Street Teamsines to Ballymena today as the town bids for the crown of best UK high street.
The squad arrived in Mid and East Antrim this morning to explore, experience and savour the town’s fantastic mix of independent shops, high street giants, cafes, bars and restaurants.
And they weren’t disappointed, with locals seizing the opportunity to showcase the area’s talent, entrepreneurship and innovation.
The awards celebrate local achievements on our high streets and help support the communities in which we live and work.
They also recognise those individual businesses and people who are playing a leading role in making our high streets so special.
Applications are welcome from local authorities, BIDs (Business Improvement Districts) and other community groups throughout Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Lindsay Millar, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Street Team to Ballymena and they created a real buzz around the town centre, spending time and mixing with our local businesses and shoppers.
“The atmosphere was excellent, with the team staging a range of activities and giveaways.
“Our high streets are brimming with incredible opportunities and potential. We have so much to offer in terms of heritage, location and retail, and we are committed on capitalising on our incredible offerings in Mid and East Antrim.
“Our reputation across Northern Ireland is one of a retail centre of excellence, accommodating a wide range of independent businesses, co-existing alongside well-known high street giants.
“My thanks to the team for taking the time to come and visit our borough and I wish everybody the best of luck with the competition.”
Alison Moore, Ballymena BID Manager, said: “The Ballymena BID was delighted along with the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council to host the Great British High Street team this week in Ballymena.
“This was a great way to shine a light on Ballymena’s diverse town centre with its many great independent retailers in addition to the high street stores.
“The team visited over 40 establishments and as customers visit those stores over the coming weeks and spend over £10 with their VISA card, they will be given information on how to be in with a chance to win £100.
“There are four winners in Northern Ireland every week, so it might just be worth entering.”
Ballymena was one of the areas chosen by the Street Teams to promote high streets entered into the competition and surprise and delight local businesses and consumers with activities and giveaways.
Winners will be chosen from each of the UK home nations, across two categories: Champion High Street and Rising Star High Street.
The Champion High Street category will recognise the best high streets, while the Rising Star High Street category will recognise the most ambitious high streets which are taking the lead and working together to revive, adapt and diversify.
The awards will also celebrate those individual businesses and people who are playing a leading role in making our high streets special.
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland High Street Awards are an exciting opportunity for councils, businesses, community groups and volunteers to learn from the leading examples of the ways in which high streets are succeeding in overcoming the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.
High streets are eligible to win up to £10,000 for their local community, plus the opportunity for their local businesses and consumers to participate in a Visa Spend & Win Competition, which rewards the people that make our high streets so special.
An overall High Street of the Year in Great Britain and Northern Ireland will also be named.
Shortlisted finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony in London in November celebrating the high streets that are succeeding and influencing change.
If you are a local community team, association or authority that represent your high street, email: email@example.com.
You can also get involved on social media using #MyHighStreet and the GBHS social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
To enter your high street you will need to be a representative of a:
· Business Improvement District
· Local Authority
· Parish Council
· Town Team
· Coastal Community Team
· Town Centre Partnership
· Community Interest Company
· Chambers of Commerce
· Trading Association
Entries close at midnight on 22 August 2018.
To find out more, visit thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk