York’s Bishopthorpe Road named best high street in Britain

Bishopthorpe Road in York has beaten off hundreds of high streets across the country to be crowned Britain’s best high street.

Richard Bothamley, owner of Setting the Scene with Flowers, in Bishopthorpe Road, York, which has been named Britains best high street. Picture: Simon HulmE.

The hard work of traders in Bishopthorpe Road, in improving their high street to make it a great place to live, shop and work has now earned them the ultimate accolade – Winner of Winners in the Great British High Street Awards 2015.

They can now look forward to a share of prize pot worth £80,000 – alongside expert coaching from Google’s training taskforce for one hundred shops, bars and restaurants.

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A record number of 230 high streets entered and nearly 200,000 votes were cast across the seven categories. This year the public got the chance to vote for the first time, alongside a visit by an expert judge from the Future High Streets Forum.

Bishopthorpe Road, York

There was success for other venues in Yorkshire with Rotherham named best town centre and Helmsley the best market town.

Jonny Hayes, Chairman Bishy Road Trader’s Association, said: “We are delighted to win the Great British High Street Awards. Last year we got to so close – being a finalist – but that near miss spurred us on to bigger and better things.

“All high streets have to adapt to a changing environment – and we’ve been no different. But the traders on Bishy Road have really done their upmost to make the place a better place to live, shop and work.

“That’s why we’re so pleased that the judges and the people of York have recognised all that we’ve done to improve our high street and make sure it stays at the heart of our community for years to come.

A shop on Bishopthorpe Road, York, dressed for the Tour de France

“Thank you every one that voted – we’re thrilled.”

At a prize ceremony in Admiralty House London, High Streets Minister Marcus Jones said: “The excitement this competition has generated with a huge level of interest from the public vote is proof that high streets are the life and soul of towns, villages and cities across the country.

“Over the last year investment in property is up 30 per cent, town centre vacancy rates have fallen to under 10 per cent and retail sales have increased for the longest period on record – long may it continue.

“Bishy Road fully deserves their title of Britain’s best high street and I congratulate them on their good work. We’ll be sharing Bishy’s top tips with other high streets across the country to make sure others learn from their success.”

Bishopthorpe Road, York

There were seven categories in the 2015 Great British High Street Awards.

City Location – Winner St Giles Street, Northampton

Town Centre – Winner Rotherham

Market Town – Winner Helmsley

Coastal Community – Winner Amble

Local Centre – Winner Bishopthorpe Road, York

Village – Winner West Kilbride

London – Winner Pitshanger Lane, Ealing