This week is Great British High Street week, a celebration of local achievements on our high streets and supporting the communities in which we live and work.
The high street is the life and soul of communities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and whether urban, market town or village, all can highlight their achievements by entering the GBHS Awards to be named the UK’s best high street.
This year I will be nominating Rochester’s historic High Street, working with Medway Council and local partners to help boost our competition. Rochester is host to a number of independent shops, historic buildings, museums, bars, restaurants and a number of events throughout the year, such as the Santa Fun Run, Sweeps Festival and Rochester City Market.
Like so many others in Medway, ever since a young age I have fond memories of Rochester High Street and some of my favourite cafes and leisure spots can still be found here.
Rochester High Street’s history is well-known, having been a key trading centre since the middle ages and an occasional feature of Charles Dickens’ literary pieces. A number of buildings found on the high street carry plaques detailing how the author incorporated them into his novels. Even further back, part of the high street form part of what was the ancient Watling Way, the Roman road through Kent.
Today, the nation’s high streets face challenges and Rochester is no exception; however, many of us are committed to helping businesses and communities find ways to adapt and innovate, ensuring that our high streets continue to thrive both now and into the future.
This is why I am nominating Rochester High Street in this year’s Great British High Street competition. Nominations close on 22 August with the shortlist on 10th September and winners announced in November. I hope you will join me in supporting our bid and more information can be found here: https://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/