Bid for Norwich city centre to win Great British High Street competition

Shopping in Royal Arcade, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Shopping in Royal Arcade, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Business leaders are hoping Norwich will be put on the retail and leisure map after putting forward city centre streets for a national award and cash boost.

Shopping in Royal Arcade and Back of the Inns, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Shopping in Royal Arcade and Back of the Inns, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) is hoping the Royal Arcade, Castle Mall, Castle Meadow, Back of the Inns, Timber Hill and interlinking streets will be shortlisted in the city category of this year's Great British High Street competition.

It is the third year of the contest in which different shopping and leisure areas, including restaurants, across the country can be awarded money from the government to boost business and receive industry advice.

The Norwich Lanes area, which features more than 300 independent and creative boutiques, cafés and bars, won the city category and £6,000 in 2014.

Mike Sweetman, owner of Timber Hill Bakery, which opened six months ago, said the extra money would attract more businesses to the arcade/castle areas.

Mike Sweetman, owner of Timber Hill Bakery. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Mike Sweetman, owner of Timber Hill Bakery. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE - Credit: Archant


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He said: 'It all helps attract people to this part of town.'

The business, which specialises in sourdough loaves, relocated from Cardiff.

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Mr Sweetman added: 'We looked at five different cities across the UK and chose Norwich because we thought Norwich customers were supportive of independent businesses and forward thinking.

'Norwich has a European city buzz about it. If more independents come to Norwich, the more it will become a destination for alternative customers who want something different from another boring British high street.'

Marcia Jeffries, store manager of the Tannery in the Royal Arcade, said more funding was needed for the historic shopping area which features 16 mostly independent businesses.

She said: 'We are proud of the arcade. We don't want to lose it.'

Shoppers can show their support by using the #GBHighSt on social media and judges will announce the winners later this year.

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