Rhondda Valley’s Treorchy crowned best high street

Treorchy High Street has been crowned the UK’s best in this year’s Great British High Street Awards, after becoming the heart of community events and digital training.

The high street now wins £15,000 for the local community as a result of the announcement, where it was praised for its 96 per cent occupancy rate as well as its local community led year-round cultural events including an outdoor cinema, an arts festival and an annual Christmas Parade, that are driving footfall.

It was also highly-praised for the digital training and support offered to local businesses. The Visit Treorchy website and accompanying marketing campaign now provides businesses with an online platform, when only 32 per cent of businesses had a website previously.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Congratulations to Treorchy on being crowned the UK’s best high street in this year’s Awards and to Wales for winning the top prize for the second year in a row. Our Great British High Streets are one of the great cornerstones of our society. They are places where our economies and our communities flourish and key to our levelling up agenda. This government, Visa and our other partners are committed to helping communities and businesses not just to survive but to thrive by adapting to the changing high street. I am delighted to see so many other dedicated individuals and organisations recognised for their efforts to secure the prosperity and vibrancy of our high streets, too.”

The winners were announced at a ceremony in Edinburgh, attended by the High Streets Minister Jake Berry and representatives from the 39 shortlisted high streets.

Berry said: “Every place has its own unique strengths and challenges, but all our town centres and high streets have one thing in common – they are the beating heart of of our communities. The Great British High Street Awards celebrate the grit and determination of local people who are dedicated to supporting their communities, growing their local economy and finding innovative solutions to modern day challenges.

“Today in Edinburgh I saw the very best of our high streets and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of this year’s winners and to give my personal thanks to the individuals and communities helping to build the future of the high street. I am delighted to see such strong examples of thriving high streets from every nation in our United Kingdom.”

It is the second year in a row that a high street in Wales has claimed the top prize, following Crickhowell’s triumph in the 2018 Awards.