The deadline for submitting nominations for the Great British High Street Awards is fast approaching and Stirling’s MP, Stephen Kerr wants to ensure that everyone knows about the awards and can submit a nomination in time. The deadline is July 3. The Great British High Street Awards 2019, run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government in partnership with Visa and backed by other supporters, recognises and celebrates local achievements on the UK’s high streets and supports the communities in which we live and work.

The initiative includes a competition to find the UK’s best and most improved high streets within two categories: the Champion award to celebrate the UK’s best high streets, and the Rising Star award for those taking the lead and working to adapt and diversify. For each, a winner will be named in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as there being an overall UK winner

Nominations for the awards can be made by local authorities, Business Improvement Districts and – for the first time – groups of high street retailers  on behalf of their high street at entries will be announced in August 2019.

For the second year in a row, outstanding local merchants will also be recognised through the High Street Hero Award which will identify those who, through their innovation, energy, time or enthusiasm, stand out as leading lights on their high streets and in their local communities.

New research compiled by Visa shows that 34,511 independent high street shops opened for business last year, up 4.5% on 2017. Meanwhile, it was found that the high street is the favoured destination for retailers to expand their business, with more than a third (34%) of those surveyed planning on opening another high street store in the next 12 months. High street businesses in Scotland are the most likely to expand over the next 12 months, with 43% of those surveyed looking to open a new store.

Stephen Kerr said:

I really hope we have some nominations for our great high streets being submitted as well as for individual traders. I travel around the constituency a lot and meet many innovative people who make a real difference to our main shopping streets. We all know it is challenging for all these businesses at the moment and celebrating our best is a great way to show support