Weston-super-Mare high street one of UK’s best
PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 October 2015
WESTON-SUPER-MARE has been named as the home of one of the best high streets in the country.
In total, 230 high streets entered the Great British High Street Of The Year Awards, and Weston finished in the top 35.
It was ranked fifth in the coastal community category, which means it will not progress into the public vote section of the awards.
Town centre manager Steve Townsend said: “A lot of our application was based on the excellent work we did trying to get more people into the town centre and using the town centre after 5pm.
“The numbers in seaside towns drop between 5pm and 7pm, especially in towns like Weston where we are reliant on day trippers who then get back on the coaches.
“What we wanted to do was provide activity in the town centre.
“So we did meal deals with restaurants, activities aimed at kids in the Town Square and lots of other bits to broadcast Weston as being the place to be in the evenings.”
The Business Improvement District (BID) expects to submit an application for Purple Flag status on October 16.
The Purple Flag recognises areas which are well-managed during the evening and night-time economy.
It means BID and Avon and Somerset Constabulary have needed to prove there has been a reduction in alcohol-related crimes and hospital admissions.
Mr Townsend said: “It’s about building an evening economy focusing on retail as well as leisure and restaurants.
“Weston doesn’t close at 5pm. We are trying to get that recognised by the local residents and people who come to Weston.
“It is about being family-friendly, and being a culturally interesting place to come and spend your time and money.”
The four places to finish above Weston in the coastal community category were Prestatyn in Wales, Bognor Regis in Sussex, Amble in Northumberland and Maryport in Cumbria.
A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: “It’s great to see Weston High Street receiving recognition at a national level.
“We are working hard with the BID team and others who share our ambitions for the town.
“As well as major projects to bring more activity into the town centre, like the development of the (Winter Gardens) Law and Professional Services Academy, we are looking at improvements to the ‘streetscene’ we can make quickly.
“A thriving high street is an integral part of a vibrant town centre and this national acclaim demonstrates the enormous potential of Weston town centre to attract further interest and investment.”