A real market force - Brighouse bids for national recognition

Brighouse 1940s weekend parade on Sunday.
Brighouse 1940s weekend parade on Sunday.

Brighouse will bid to be named one of the top towns in the country that recognises the hard work of individuals and traders.

The work of the Brighouse Business Initiative has seen the town flourish over the past few years with hundreds of thousands of visitors flocking to the town for their street markets, canal and beer festivals and the popular Brighouse Victorian Christmas and 1940s weekend.

Brighouse traders  Anne Colley, John Buxton, Lesley Adams and Steven Lord prepare from Saturdays street market.

Brighouse traders Anne Colley, John Buxton, Lesley Adams and Steven Lord prepare from Saturdays street market.

The group is now bidding to be named the best market town high street in the UK in the Great British High Streets Awards 2015.

Lesley Adams, chair of the BBI, said: “The awards celebrate high streets in Britain and we want to show what we have done to improve the town and the innovative methods we have used to achieve this.

“It’s great that we have the support of the Brighouse Councillors and the Calder Valley MP in our bid for the prize.”

The Great British High Streets Awards 2015 will see the winners in the seven categories benefit from a share of an £80,000 prize pot.

Up to 100 retailers in each of the seven winning locations will be given training, courtesy of Internet giant Google on how to make the most of their digital skills from their experts.

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker and Brighouse Councillors Howard Blagbrough and Scott Benton are also supporting the BBI bid.

“The work that the Brighouse Business Initiative has done over the last few years in promoting the town has been absolutely fantastic,” said Mr Whittaker.

“They work incredibly hard to organise and facilitate the markets that Brighouse holds which have been a tremendous success and really have put Brighouse on the map.

“The national High Street awards are an opportunity to celebrate our local high street and I am delighted to support Brighouse’s application.

“Our high street really does have something for everyone and I hope that this application continues to raise the profile of Brighouse in attracting visitors. Now in their second year, the awards celebrate the hard work of local groups up and down the country who are working together to support their local high streets and make them even better places to shop and socialise.

This year a new special prize has also been launched for towns who have become ‘Rising Stars’ or for local people who have made an invaluable personal contribution to their local high streets.

In light of these exciting new developments to the competition, nominations for this year’s awards will run until September 1.

Judges from the Future High Streets Forum - made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business - will have the difficult task of arriving at a shortlist of 21 finalists.

Voting will then commence and for the first time the public will have the chance to vote directly for their best-loved high street online.