Treorchy crowned “UK’s best” in the Great British High Street Awards
Treorchy High Street, nestled at the head of the Rhondda Valley, has clinched the prestigious title of ‘High Street of the Year’ at this year’s Great British High Street Awards, proudly sponsored by Visa. The victory comes with a handsome £15,000 prize, designated for community development.
With an impressive 96% occupancy rate, Treorchy’s recognition is well-deserved for its exceptional community-led events throughout the year. The high street hosts an array of cultural festivities, including an enchanting outdoor cinema, a captivating arts festival, and an annual Christmas Parade, which have significantly bolstered footfall in the area.
Moreover, the judges lauded Treorchy for its innovative digital training and support programs for local businesses. An impactful initiative was the ‘Visit Treorchy’ website and its accompanying marketing campaign, which provided a much-needed online platform for businesses. This propelled the number of businesses with a website from a mere 32% to a more substantial proportion.
The remarkable achievement marks the second consecutive win for a Welsh high street, following Crickhowell’s triumph in the 2018 Awards.
The winners were announced at a prestigious ceremony in Edinburgh, where High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP and representatives from the 39 shortlisted high streets celebrated the remarkable achievements.
The ‘Rising Star of the Year’ accolade, recognizing adaptability and diversification efforts, was bestowed upon The Square in Kelso, a bustling market town in the Scottish Borders. The Square impressed the judges with its innovative initiatives that have increased footfall and consumer spending on the high street.
Communities Secretary, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, extended his warmest congratulations to Treorchy and Wales for securing the top prize for the second consecutive year. He emphasized the importance of vibrant high streets in promoting community prosperity and the government’s commitment to supporting local economies.
High Streets Minister, Rt Hon Jake Berry MP, praised the determination of local communities to bolster their high streets in the face of modern challenges, affirming their crucial role as the heart of communities.
The winning attributes of Treorchy’s High Street were highlighted by Adrian Emmett, owner of The Lion pub, who nominated the village’s high street for the esteemed award. The local community’s year-round cultural events and the strategic digital partnership have undoubtedly led to this success.
Similarly, Tina Newton of Border Cookware in Kelso, who nominated The Square for the Rising Star Award, expressed delight at the recognition. The Square’s commitment to innovation and community engagement sets a prime example for thriving high streets.
Jeni Mundy, Managing Director for UK & Ireland at Visa, praised both Treorchy and The Square for their remarkable transformations, emphasizing the importance of supporting local businesses.
Treorchy’s success was met with gratitude and pride from the entire community, as Adrian Emmett acknowledged the collective effort that led to this victory. Tina Newton from Kelso’s Border Cookware shared her excitement for the year ahead and thanked the Great British High Street Awards and Visa for the opportunity.
Eight other high streets, two from each Home Nation, were also honored in the Champion High Street and Rising Star categories, each receiving £5,000 for community initiatives. Additionally, High Street Heroes, individuals who have demonstrated unwavering dedication to their local high streets, were recognised for their exceptional contributions.