A picturesque high street nestled in the Welsh countryside has been named as the UK’s best high street at the recent Great British High Street Awards.
Crickhowell High Street – located in a rural town in the Usk Valley on the edge of the Brecon Beacons – was given the top honour during a ceremony held at Lancaster House, which was attended by High Streets Minister Jake Berry and representatives from the 37 shortlisted high streets.
Crickhowell High Street was commended for its community-led initiatives and strong network of independent businesses, and was also awarded £15,000 for the local community.
The result reflected strong public support on social media in addition to a panel of judges.
Dean Christy of the Crickhowell Corn Exchange nominated the Welsh town’s high street following the introduction of an initiative aimed at driving footfall while 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 boasted strong environmental credentials. It is home to the first Zero Waste shop in Wales, and the Plastic Free Crickhowell initiative was established to reduce the use of plastic.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be named the UK’s best high street,” Christy said.
“None of this would have been possible without the ongoing commitment, hard work, dedication and drive of the whole community of Crickhowell and the surrounding area – it’s the people that make our high streets such special places and this award is for you all.”
In addition to the overall winner, eight high streets – two from each home nation – won awards in the Champion and Rising Star categories.
Additionally, High Street Heroes – individuals who have gone above and beyond for their local high street – were also recognised.
The full list of winners:
Overall UK winner:
• High Street, Crickhowell
Champion High Streets:
• England: Altrincham Town Centre
• Scotland: High Street, Alness
• Wales: High Street, Crickhowell
• Northern Ireland: Portadown Town Centre
Rising Star High Streets:
• England: Burnley Road, Todmorden
• Scotland: High Street, Newport-on-Tay
• Wales: High Street, Cowbridge
• Northern Ireland: Bow Street, Lisburn
High Street Heroes:
• England: Jennifer Crowther
• Scotland: David Robertson
• Wales: Emma Corfield Walters
• Northern Ireland: Sarah Munn
The Great British High Street Awards 2018 is run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government and aims to recognise and celebrate the local achievements of UK high streets.