Northwich was visited on Tuesday 3rd September by judges from the Great British High Street (GBHS) Awards as they cast their eye over the town and learned about the numerous events, projects and initiatives that have been delivered here over the past year.
For the second year running, Northwich is bidding to be crowned a ‘Rising Star’ in the GBHS Awards, sponsored by Visa, which recognises and celebrates the communities that are working together to revive local high streets.
The town’s application, which is being led once again by the Northwich Business Improvement District (BID), focuses on the comprehensive calendar of events organised, the number of digital initiatives delivered, community collaboration on projects and the diversity exhibited by Northwich’s businesses.
Over the past year in particular Northwich has hosted an international festival, seen over 50 businesses host artwork by local residents in their shop windows and teamed up with Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group (CDSSG) to help Northwich become the first town in the north west to achieve Makaton friendly status.
Northwich has upped its game environmentally too, creating wildflower gardens in the town centre and organising community litter picks to help tidy up problem areas.
On judging day itself GBHS representatives visited CDSSG to learn about the processes involved in the Makaton initiative and paid visits to Pretty Princess Cakes and Bakes, the High Street Barber Shop, Board Beans Café, The Salty Dog, Crate Hair and Abda’s Café to chat to business owners and learn about their experiences of working in Northwich and the town’s strong community spirit.
Northwich BID Manager Jane Hough was in town on judging day to explain more about the town’s application and is hopeful that Northwich can go one better in 2019 after finishing as a runner-up last year.
“It was great to be able to show representatives from GBHS around Northwich and for them to gain a better understanding of the numerous projects, events and initiatives that are delivered in the town centre.
“They were very impressed with how our businesses work together throughout the year to benefit the high street and how they are constantly thinking outside the box to bring extra visitors to Northwich in the face of ever-changing consumer habits.
“Now all we can do is wait for the results which will be revealed at a ceremony later in the year.”
Alongside Jane, Cheshire West and Chester and Northwich Town Cllr Sam Naylor met the GBHS judges and he has spoken about how Northwich Town Council (NTC) is working with the BID to raise the profile of the town.
“For a number of years now NTC has worked closely with the BID to help make the town an even better place to live, work and visit.
“Not only have the two organisations teamed up to deliver events such as the Christmas Extravaganza to bring in footfall, but we’ve also collaborated on a number of projects to improve the town’s aesthetic such as street cleansing, floral displays and litter picks.
“Long may the positive relationship continue as it’s so beneficial for Northwich.”
As well as judges’ votes, 20% comes from online votes which can be registered below. It’s quick and easy and votes can be registered once a day.