Alness High Street was crowned the best high street in Scotland yesterday.
The town was named Scottish Champion at this year’s Great British High Street Awards.
The high street, which has over 70 businesses including a flourishing number of independent retailers, wins £5,000 for the local community.
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The small town on the Cromarty Firth was announced as the Scottish Champion High Street for the 2018 Awards at a prestigious ceremony at London’s Lancaster House, attended by High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP and representatives from the 37 shortlisted high streets.
High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to Alness on being crowned the Scottish Champion High Street in this year’s Great British High Street Awards.
“The awards celebrate the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify our high streets and the quality of entries this year has been outstanding.
“Across the whole UK, there’s a determination from local communities to keep their high street vibrant and strong and these Awards reflect that.”
Alness was nominated by local organisation Alness Businesses, and its reinvention over the years to become a place to find everything from florists and bridal wear to delis and bakeries obviously impressed the judges.
Awards judge Hemlata Narasimhan, Head of Merchant Services at Visa Europe, said: “Alness High Street is a fantastic example of a high street that has made huge strides in transforming itself and significantly improving the environment for locals and visitors alike.
“With an unparalleled sense of community, Alness shopkeepers and business owners have worked together to ensure that they provide an exciting and vibrant experience for shoppers. Alness is a shining example of how high streets can help drive footfall by the local community coming together to make it a better place for all.”
Carolyn Wilson of Victoriana flower shop – and also a local councillor – said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be named the Scottish Champion High Street and hugely grateful to both the Great British High Street Awards and Visa! We have a wonderful community in Alness and this is a real tribute to everyone’s hard work and passion.”
The Awards announcements follows visits by an independent judging panel, comprising of leading retail experts, Visa representatives and previous Award winners. The judges visited the shortlisted high streets across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, meeting local businesses, shoppers and community organisations.