Congratulations are in order this evening for the retail community of Belper, having picked up two top gongs at this year’s GB High Street awards.
The Amber Valley town – known for being part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site – was revealed as the winner of the Champion High Street Award for England.
As well as this, the winner in the High Street Heroes – England category was Laura Armstrong, from Belper.
(images: The GB High Street)
Citation for Belper
Vibrant Belper Town is more than just a pretty face. The innovative Town Centre Partnership is focused on engaging community and supporting independent retailers via social media and their website.
Using the hashtag #lovebelper to create a virtual showcase of the town and markets, and having developed a website as the go to place for information on shopping eating, heritage, arts and events.
Since their launch they have delivered successful events to draw people into the town (Pumpkin Trail, Bunny Hop, Fiver Fest) increasing footfall and boosting sales.
LoveBelper is a whole-town approach to customer experience. Many businesses have undertaken Belper Ambassador training for visitors and all have signed up to being breastfeeding friendly.
Accessible Belper have conducted access audits around the whole town and populated their website with an honest appraisal of the physical and attitudinal accessibility of 76 of the shops.
As well as the bi-annual food festival having a ‘slow shopping’ hour to support accessibility.
Committed to sustainability, an increasing number of Belper eateries are sourcing ingredients and supplies locally.
Lastly, but by no means least, Belper hosts its first Pride event in August, adding to the rich diversity of the town.
Honouring its sustainable heritage and UNESCO World Heritage status, Belper Town Council has declared a climate emergency and is committed to reducing its carbon footprint with initiatives like Refill Belper to tackle single use plastic waste, the Sharing Not Wasting project, and the new Repair Cafe (pay as you can) focused on repairing not replacing.
Citation for Laura Armstrong
Laura Armstrong is the driving force behind Love Belper.
Founder and chairperson of the committee, not only is Laura a tireless ambassador for Belper’s heritage, she also owns her own shop, runs a cleaning business and has two small children.
Thanks to Laura’s drive and passion, Love Belper has achieved incredible things in its first year, including events to bring new people into businesses, improvements in accessibility and inclusivity, a social media campaign and more.