Crickhowell High Street has been crowned the overall winner of the government-run Great British High Street Awards 2018.
The Welsh high street was commended for its community-led initiatives and strong network of independent businesses and was awarded £15,000 for the local community.
The result reflects strong public support on social media, in addition to a panel of judges. Located in a bustling rural town nestled in the Usk Valley on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Crickhowell High Street was named the winner at a ceremony at Lancaster House, attended by high streets minister Jake Berry MP and representatives from the 37 shortlisted high streets.
Dean Christy of the Crickhowell Corn Exchange nominated the town’s high street following the introduction of an initiative aimed at driving footfall to the high street, whilst maintaining that local people had their say on what was best for their high street.
The campaign also inspired 267 people passionate about the future of their high street to collectively purchase and renovate a former High Street pub – the Corn Exchange – into three new shops with three residential properties above.
Crickhowell High Street also boasts strong environmental credentials, being home to the first Zero Waste shop in Wales, whilst establishing Plastic Free Crickhowell – an initiative to reduce the use of plastic.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Dean Christy of Crickhowell Corn Exchange, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be named the UK’s best high street and hugely grateful to both the Great British High Street Awards and Visa for making this dream come true.
“None of this would have been possible without the ongoing commitment, hard work, dedication and drive of the whole community of Crickhowell and the surrounding area – it’s the people that make our high streets such special places and this Award is for you all.”
In addition to the overall winner, eight high streets, two from each home nation, won awards in the Champion and Rising Star categories, whilst High Street Heroes – those individuals who have gone above and beyond for their local high street – were also recognised.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Overall UK winner
High Street, Crickhowell
Champion High Streets
England: Altrincham Town Centre
Scotland: High Street, Alness
Wales: High Street, Crickhowell
Northern Ireland: Portadown Town Centre
Rising Star High Streets
England: Burnley Road, Todmorden
Scotland: High Street, Newport-on-Tay
Wales: High Street, Cowbridge
Northern Ireland: Bow Street, Lisburn
The shortlisted high streets across all the categories were commended for giving back to their local communities, improving customer experience, protecting the environment and digitally transforming their high streets.