Banbury has overtaken Blackburn to take provisional first place in the Great British High Street awards.
The win, however, is not guaranteed and there is just one week left to back Banbury’s bid to win the town centre category prestigious awards and members of the public can vote up to once a day on the competition website.
Cherwell District Council is reinforcing the message that the campaign is an opportunity not only to celebrate the town centre’s shops, events and markets, but to back ongoing efforts to improve it.
Cllr Lynn Pratt, Cherwell District Council’s lead member for estates and the economy, says: “Last week we were delighted to have a visit from the competition judges, and we had lots to show and tell them. We were able to visit local independent businesses, and meet with partners from the town council and organisations such as Visit Banbury, all of whom work really hard to promote the town centre.
“Banbury’s entry is all about celebrating the co-operation between these partners and the wider community which works, lives and shops in the town centre. Without their support we could not have reached the finals of this prestigious competition.
“While the judges’ views count for 50 per cent of the final decision, the public vote will make up the other 50 per cent. Backing from the general public and businesses is really important, not only for this competition, but for our continued efforts to support the town centre.”
Banbury also has a finalist in the Best Shop on Twitter category of the awards. The Artery, an art supplier and gallery on Parsons Street, is one of three finalists in the running. Anyone with a Twitter account can vote for The Artery using the #BestGBTwitterShop hashtag and the shop’s handle, @thearteryshop.
If Banbury wins the award, it would be a further boost to the town centre, which would benefit from a share of a £100,000 prize pot. Between now and November 18 members of the public can vote for free here.