WELSHPOOL has been shortlisted in the UK Government’s Great British High Street Awards, for the second year running, with a chance of landing up to £15,000.

The town has been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, which celebrates high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify.

The bid by Welshpool Town Council follows research commissioned by Visa, competition partner, in April 2019 demonstrating the positive impact that the local high street has on communities.The research found that nearly three quarters of consumers (71 per cent) in Wales say that shopping locally makes them feel happy, with nearly half (45 per cent) citing supporting local shops and knowing where their money is going as the main reason.

Spending time with friends and family (25 per cent) and offering a sense of community (18 per cent) were other reasons cited for why high streets make people feel happier. The research also reveals that half of consumers (50 per cent) feel that their high street gives them a sense of pride in their local community.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Welshpool for being shortlisted for the Rising Star Award for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“Local traders and the council are working together brilliantly in Welshpool to put on inspired events and make sure that the high street is accessible to everyone.

“People are happier when they can see their hard-earned cash support local businesses. That is why we are celebrating those that go above and beyond to keep their high streets thriving for generations to come.”

Sundeep Kaur, Head of UK & Ireland merchant services at Visa, added: “We’ve seen some fantastic entries for this year’s Great British High Street Awards across both the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories. In particular, the desire to innovate stands out amongst this year’s entries, with high streets adapting to the challenges presented by a rapidly changing retail environment to find ways to thrive at a local level.

“As our research shows, high streets play a vital role at the heart of communities, so this is a great opportunity for those communities with shortlisted high streets to show their support by placing their votes on the Great British High Street website.”

Welshpool is one of the 28 high streets that have been shortlisted for the Rising Star category, identifying high streets which are taking the lead to adapt and diversify; while 12 high streets have been shortlisted in the Champion High Street category, which recognises the UK’s best high streets. All 40 high streets are now in the running to win a prize of up to £15,000 to be dedicated to a local high street initiative.

People can vote for their favourite finalist at www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk, with the public vote accounting for 20 percent of the final scoring. The shortlisted high streets will then have the chance to impress an expert judging panel as they seek to be crowned the UK’s Champion and Rising Star.