Great British High Street

VOTING IS NOW CLOSED

Results will be announced on Monday 12 December at the awards ceremony in London. Thank you to everyone who has voted and supported Thame’s and Chris Hurdman’s campaigns!

Great British High Street Finalists announced!

Thame has been named as one of the country’s best high streets by being shortlisted in the third annual Great British High Street competition. Thame High Street has been named alongside Chipping Norton and Hebden Bridge as one of the top 3 in the Small Market Town category. Chris Hurdman, Thame, has also been named alongside Nicola Martin (Ashton under Lyne) and Beverley Milner Simonds (Burnham on Sea, Somerset) as one of the top 3 in the Retail Market Champion category. Now, to be crowned champion, Thame needs your votes! 

This year’s competition saw a record 900 entries across all 14 categories, including the new categories for individuals and shops. Now the shortlist has been drawn up and the public has the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online. Voting is now closed.

Watch Thame’ Market on That’s Oxfordshire TV

Social Media

Last year the judges commended Thame especially for use of social media, and we aim to build up our social media presence for this year’s entry. We’re grateful for funding from SODC and Thame Town Council which has made it possible for us to work with a professional social media specialist, Mushroom Soufflé, who will help us extend the use of social media around the high street. Thame social media champions have been trained to give advice and encouragement to high street businesses, getting them tweeting and putting posts on Facebook. The social media champions will be active on the high street over the coming weeks, sporting #GBHighSt t-shirts (sponsored by Mr Mend of Thame).

@TheGBHighSt and @ThameGBHS on twitter, or search using #GBHighSt for all the updates!

Watch Thame’s video entries!

Small Market Town

Watch Thame’s video entries

Retail Market Champion

Why vote?

If Thame wins, not only will we get a share of prize pot worth £100,000, but we’ll win expert training from Google’s digital taskforce for shops, bars and restaurants and a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to further boost our social media skills. 

High Streets Minister Andrew Percy said: “Our high streets are the life and soul of towns, villages and cities across the country and the record number of competition entries, this year is proof of their continued importance to local life. From North London to Northumberland, great work is underway to adapt the high street to the needs of modern life. I want to wish all who’ve entered the very best of luck.”

The Great British High Street Competition 2016 celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets. It is one of a number of initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community. The Government is helping local business communities adapt to the changing face of high streets, with a £6.7 billion package of business rates support, to cut the rates for 900,000 businesses – with 600,000 now paying none at all. The second Great British High Street competition last year saw 230 entries and attracted over 200,000 public votes, with Bishy Road in York, a former finalist, crowned Britain’s best. Bishy Road found that winning not only boosted town pride, but also had a tangible economic impact with retailers reporting increased footfall. Thame’s Great British High Street co-ordinators hope that will happen too for Thame.

What does being shortlisted mean to you? – Tony Long, Thame Players Theatre Company 

Why should people vote for you, Chris Hurdman (secretary, Thame Market Traders)?

What makes Thame’s high street great? How have you helped to turn it around? Featuring Jon Littler, founder, First Thursday Music Club

Watch more great videos about Thame and it’s Great British High Street finalists by clicking here.

How Are We Judged?

Thame played host to an expert panel of judges in the Great British High Street Competition on Friday 4 November as they were treated to a guided tour and a reception attended by some of Thame’s key businesses and supporters of the #GBHighSt entry. Read more here. But the public plays a big part in this too – public voting makes up 50% of the final results. Last year 200,000 public votes were cast and the organisers are hoping that figure will be exceeded this year. From 18 October, anyone can vote once a day for one finalist in each category. The strength of public support will be visible in league tables, showing how each finalist is doing. Finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony in London on the 12 December, when category winners and the winner of winners will be announced.

Photo credit: Mark Recchia, with thanks

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