London Road finalist in Great British High Street award

London Road was finalist in the 2014 Great British High Street awards – “Local Centre” category.

The awards are part of the “Great British High Street” initiative associated with Mary Portas’ government-backed drive to revitalise the High Street. Penny Mordaunt MP, minister for shops, presented the awards at a ceremony 11/12/14 in Westminster.

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Philip Wells – LAT Chair, Penny Mordaunt MP – minister for shops, Ann Townsend – Chair Town Team : award ceremony 11th December 2014

The regeneration of London Road has been rapid and  obvious to all, and has bucked the trend for revitalisation which experts have said takes decades to achieve.

There has been a combination of factors coming together to bless London Road – the re-launch of the Open Market, the prospect of 351 students spending money (?) where there was a huge empty building, the arts-led revival epitomised in the Emporium, Council initiatives such as the Level, and Providence Place Gardens (still under construction), and the Portas Pilot project. The LAT too has played a significant part bringing together the various parties and, as a specific example, in challenging street drinking at the supply side, and participating in “Sensible on Strength” which has given the area a major lift.

The £83,000 Portas money has been well invested under the guidance of the Town Team chaired by Ann Townsend of London Road Traders Association – pictured above, right. Town Team Manager Joe Nichols made a huge impact with the visitlondonroad website, and various other marketing and promotional activities and actioning the whole Portas project. There has been a particular benefit to the area from the Town Centre Liaison Officers who have played a big part in making the area safe and feel safe.

Portas + Arts Council money combined to enable the uplift to Elder Place – the commissioned murals – which the LAT raised as an issue and did the spade-work for over previous months.

Thanks also to Council Officer Rob Dawson from the economic development department who has been a great support for London Road.

All in all, we have a lot to be grateful for in the London Road area – it has been becoming a better place for those who live, work, trade, and shop here.

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