Friendliest Port is aiming to defend its High Street title

Julia Aston and Ann Burke with the High Street Award.
Picture by Jane Coltman
Julia Aston and Ann Burke with the High Street Award. Picture by Jane Coltman

Amble will be aiming to defend its title in the prestigious Great British High Street Awards, as entries are sought for the 2016 contest.

The Friendliest Port won the Coastal Community accolade in last year’s competition, beating the other category finalists, Prestatyn, in Wales, and Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

Julia Aston, of the town’s development trust, says that winning the award has proved to be a massive boost for Amble and revealed that a bid will be submitted for this year’s contest.

Northumberland Tourism is urging as many entries as possible to be made from locations across the county.

Julia said: “Since we were crowned the winners in November last year, Amble has definitely seen an uplift in visitor numbers and businesses have seen an increased customer turnover as well and the reaction from businesses has been positive. It has raised the profile of the town and it was very worthwhile entering and we will be applying again this year.”

Amble Business Club chairman Ann Burke agrees. And she added: “Winning the award made the local people and businesses look at the town in a different light.”

Amble secured £5,000 for winning the Coastal Community section. Some of this money has been spent on signage, directing visitors to the high street and the Harbour Village, while a series of training workshops are being put in place to cover a range of topics and to add to the town’s visitor experience.

The deadline for entries for The Great British High Street Awards 2016 is Friday, September 9. The categories are: Best City Centre High Street (more than 200,000 population); Best Town Centre High Street (more than 30,000 population); Best Market Town High Street – small (less than 10,000 population); Best Market Town High Street – large (10,000 to 30,000 population); Best Coastal Community High Street; Best Village High Street (500 to 2,000 residents);Best Local Centre – precinct or parade of shops; Best London High Street; and Rising Star – to recognise towns who are turning fortunes around.

There are also four categories for individuals. These are: Best Store Manager or Employee from a National Retailer/Organisation; Best Store Manager or Employee from an Independent/Small Business; Best Market Manager, Operator or Trader; Best Manager Or Employee From A High Street Business Under 25 Years Old.

For information and to enter, visit the website – www.the greatbritishhighstreet.co.uk