Great British High Street Awards: Reaction to Hebden Bridge’s double triumph

Market Street, Hebden Bridge

Market Street, Hebden Bridge

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Hebden Bridge has scooped not one, but two awards in the prestigious Great British High Street competition.

It was crowned Best Small Market Town in recognition of its resilience and community spirit following last year’s devastating Boxing Day floods.

In the aftermath of the floods, communities, businesses and the council worked together to get the town back on its feet and 95 per cent of Market Street shops are now trading again.

The town also won the inaugural People’s Choice Award after receiving the most public votes.

Eileen Kelly, from the Hebden Bridge Business Forum, said: “After a really tough year following the Boxing Day floods we have had the opportunity to put Hebden Bridge back on the map.

“We were up against some really tough competition but we have had incredible support from the community and the local authority.”

Pateley Bridge, in Nidderdale, was named Best Village following the community’s efforts to fill vacant units on the high street.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “This is brilliant news and truly well-deserved for those who have worked hard to create vibrant and successful high streets in both Hebden Bridge and Pateley Bridge.

“They have not only put their communities on the map but have shown that anything is possible when you have community spirit and a real can-do attitude.”

The annual competition celebrates the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets and this year saw 900 entries, with a record-breaking number of votes cast.

All winners win a share of a prize pot worth £100,000 and expert training from Google’s digital taskforce for shops, bars and restaurants and a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to boost their social media skills.