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Ramsbottom running for UK’s High Street of the Year
4:00pm Friday 13th December 2013 in News
RAMSBOTTOM is in the running to be crowned the UK’s High Street of the Year.
The town centre is in the top ten shortlist and the only North West area to be selected in The Daily Telegraph's Reinventing the High Street campaign, Ramsbottom is up against Bridport in Dorset, Bury St Edmonds in Suffolk, Deal in Kent, Leek in Staffordshire, Malmesbury in Wiltshire, Mill Road in Cambridge, Sherborne in Dorset, Teddington in Middlesex and Yarm in Teesside.
Paul Morris, owner of The Chocolate Cafe, said the town’s appeal was down to the absence of national retail chains.
He said: “We’ve got a fabulous high street. There isn’t one big chain here, which means it offers so much character, variety, value for money and an enjoyable shopping experience.
“The close ties between businesses and the council have also made it possible for us to hold the Chocolate Festival, the Christmas Market and other events which encourage people to come to the town.
“We’ve largely been immune to the effects of this recession because we were hit so hard in the last one in the late 1980s and were made stronger by it.
“Around 60 per cent of the shops closed, the mills closed, so there was no money and high street chains stayed away and went to places like Accrington instead.
“It made Ramsbottom an obvious choice for people without much money wanting to start a business.
“Now, we have award-winning shops and restaurants and good culture that makes people want to come in and spend time and money here.
“Many town centres look the same now. Each town needs an identity and Ramsbottom has that.”
Coun Ian Bevan, who represents Rambsottom, said it was 'fantastic news' that the town could be recognised nationally.
He said: “Traders have been working very hard over the last few years.
“We have very few empty shops and the ones that are up and running are thriving.”
To vote in the awards, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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