Judges who visited Wellington as part of this year’s Great British High Street competition were left impressed with the ‘vision’ of the town.
Wellington is a finalist in the government’s ‘Rising Star’ category of the 2019 awards initiative and hosted three judges who toured the area and met a range of local people, councillors, volunteers, retailers, business people and representatives of Love Wellington.
The Love Wellington campaign is co-ordinating the bid to win the accolade, together with Wellington Town Council and Telford and Wrekin Council.
“The visit went extremely well and although we are against some other strong entries we are very hopeful of walking away with the award,” said Sally Themans of Love Wellington who accompanied the judges.
“The town looked great – with floral planters, bunting and balloons – and everyone they talked to was so positive and proud of everything going on here to regenerate the place.
“There is a real buzz about Wellington now and even if we don’t win the Rising Star category we feel that there is a real momentum to continue improving and enhancing the town.”
The judges were John Martin of Pittshanger Lane, the London High Street winner in 2015; Sarah Bassett who led Alcester to victory in the Rising Star category in 2015 and Oscar Lee from competition sponsors Visa.
Sarah Bassett, who now represents an organisation called SaveTheHighStreet.org said: “I’d really like to thank the Love Wellington team and the people of the town for such a warm welcome.
“I enjoyed every minute and am still reeling from the number of amazing people we met. I was impressed by the support and vision of Wellington Town Council and the Borough Council and the regeneration that is happening.
“The practical grants to repurpose buildings and get businesses back into vacant premises are something more borough councils should look to provide.
“There were so many great ideas and initiatives. I was particularly inspired by the Young High Street Challenge and Love Wellington youth team and never have I met such a cool Mayor – love the tattoo!” she said, referring to Welington’s Mayor Anthony Lowe who had the Love Wellington logo tattooed on his arm when appointed to the position.
Voting is still open for the competition and people can vote every day until October 7. The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony in November.