Norwich Castle/Arcade district shortlisted in Great British High Street Competition

Shopping in Royal Arcade, Norwich.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

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

Norwich's Castle/Arcade District has been named as one of the country's best high streets by being shortlisted in the third annual Great British High Street competition.

Nominated by Norwich Business Improvement District (BID), the Castle/Arcade district's application has been shortlisted as one of the top 3 in the city category. Now, in order to be crowned champion, Norwich needs your votes.

This year's competition saw a record 900 entries across all 14 categories, including new categories for individuals and shops. Now the shortlist has been drawn up and the public has the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online.

If the Castle/Arcade district wins, not only will they get a share of the prize pot worth £100,000, but they'll win expert training from Google's digital taskforce for shops, bars and restaurants and a trip to Twitter UK's London office to further boost their social media skills.

Stefan Gurney (Executive Director of Norwich BID) explained 'This is fantastic news for the city and it's important that we continue to celebrate Norwich's thriving high street and we hope the public will cast their vote and help win GB High Street of the year. We hope the Castle/Arcade district will be recognized for its uniqueness; including the innovative events, marketing campaigns and technology used to make a positive impact to the area'.

'Following the success of The Lanes application in 2014, we're proud of the Castle/Arcade district also being recognized as one of Britain's best high streets and hope this will be a real boost for the city'.

'We're going to be pulling out all the stops to make sure local people know about the Castle/Arcade districts shortlisting. Let's win the Great British High Street again for Norwich! Join in and show your support for the campaign through social media using #GBHighSt'.

Alongside the public's votes shortlisted cities and towns will also be inspected by the judging panel – made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business – including British Land, the Post Office and Holland and Barratt.

To cast your vote, visit the Great British High Street website and follow @TheGBHighSt on Twitter. Voting closes in November.

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High Streets Minister Andrew Percy said, 'Our high streets are the life and soul of towns, villages and cities across the country and the record number of competition entries, this year is proof of their continued importance to local life'.

'From North London to Northumberland, great work is underway to adapt the high street to the needs of modern life'.

'I want to wish all who've entered the very best of luck'.

The Great British High Street Competition 2016 celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation's high streets. It is one of a number of initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community.

The Government is helping local business communities adapt to the changing face of high streets, with a £6.7 billion package of business rates support, to cut the rates for 900,000 businesses – with 600,000 now paying none at all.

The second Great British High Street competition last year saw 230 entries and attracted over 200,000 public votes, with Bishy Road in York, a former finalist, crowned Britain's best. In 2014 The Norwich Lanes won which not only boosted pride in the city, but also had tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall. Norwich BID hopes to repeat this success, and the Castle/Arcade area is recognized for its innovative and unique approach to the challenges of the modern high street that this area takes.