September 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, September 5, 2014
A Norwich shopping quarter bustling with a number of eclectic independent stores could be in line for some national recognition after being nominated in the Great British High Street Awards.
When Chapelfield opened in 2005, there were fears that it would have a devastating impact on the survival of Norwich’s eclectic independent shops.
But the Norwich Lanes, a series of medieval streets, alleyways and open spaces, has gone from strength to strength over the past few years and now boasts more than 300 independent retailers, cafes and bars.
The district is already well known and loved in the city but it could be in line from an influx of shoppers from other parts of the country after it was nominated for a national award by the Norwich Business Improvement District (BID).
A spokesman for Norwich Lanes said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be nominated for the Great British High Street of the Year Awards.
“We honestly believe that this remarkable community of independent retailers, restaurants and bars is unique in Britain and to be recognised nationally would be a fitting reward for everyone involved.”
The news was also welcomed by comedian, actor, writer, presenter and Twitter phenomenon Stephen Fry. Mr Fry, who is a director of Norwich City Football Club and has a home in west Norfolk, tweeted: “Hurrah! The wonderful @NorwichLanes have been nominated for the #GBHighSt of the Year Awards!”
The High Street of the Year Award is a new competition is open to Town Teams and recognised local partnerships who can nominate a high street in their area – all with the aim of celebrating the incredible diversity and services that British high streets provide.
A panel of expert independent judges, comprised of members of the Future High Streets Forum, the Association of Town and City Management and the Department of Communities and Local Government, will assess applications to the awards.
Applications should outline innovative schemes aimed at regeneration of the high street, how local people, organisations, businesses and local authorities have been engaged and how the high street has benefitted.
The winners of the awards, who will be announced in the autumn, will receive a share of £50,000 prize money, provided by Forum sponsors, as well as access to a tailored package of support and mentoring from industry experts.
High streets in six categories – city centre; town centre; market town; coastal community; local shopping centre or parade of shops and village – have been nominated in the awards which are supported by a number of politicians, including Great Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis.
People have been urged to support The Norwich Lanes nomination by explaining why they love the Lanes on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GBHighSt and leave a comment.
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