Headlines: May 13th, 2013

Seven towns will share in a one million pounds reward scheme for their innovative approach in revitalising high streets.

Judged by a panel of experts including Martin Blackwell from the Association of Town and City Management and Andy Godfrey from Alliance Boots, the towns were chosen for the innovative ideas they implemented, the results they achieved and their ability to promote good practice.

Herne Hill created a thriving town square and market by cutting red tape and puting power in the hands of local people..

Northam   Road, Southampton developed strong local leadership and a public-private partnership to bring the high street back to life by transforming it into a regional antiques centre.

Altrincham brought empty shops back into use and encouraged more people to visit the high street by lowering parking charges.

Ipswich reoriented the town centre and linked it to a new waterfront development as part of a regeneration scheme.

Market Rasen put the market back into Market Rasen by strengthening the local market and setting up community shops to offer local products.

Gloucester promoted record new company registrations in the area by supporting local start-ups and growing businesses.

Rotherham created a differentiated shopping offer with independent businesses filling  empty premises, whilst also increasing consumer satisfaction and driving footfall.

Martin Blackwell, chief executive of the Association of Town and City Management, said: “The public recognises that high streets are important and are responding with their feet, purses and wallets. Some really interesting ideas have emerged from this competition that all town centres can learn from and take heart from. I have no doubt that they will do just that.”