There’s still time to enter Stockton Borough’s Town Centre Business Awards
Since I blogged about my judging role as part of Stockton Council’s first ever Town Centre Business Awards, launched back in July, I’m pleased to report that there have been over 200 nominations from the public for the Borough’s ‘Town Centre Business of the Year’.
I’m told that there have also been a lot of strong entries in each of the business categories – Eatery of the Year, Independent Retailer of the Year, Market Trader of the Year, National Chain of the Year and Newcomer of the Year – though I won’t get to see these until I meet up with all the other judges in a couple of weeks’ time.
As well as me, the judging panel comprises Christine Kavanagh, who fronts the region’s Retail Skills Shops; Councillor Bob Cook, the Leader of Stockton Council; and Richard Poundford, who’s Stockton Council’s Head of Regeneration and Economic Development.
With the closing date set for Tuesday 20 September, businesses trading within any of the Borough’s town centres have just seven more days to enter the inaugural competition. Members of the public also still have time to vote for their ‘Town Centre Business of the Year’, which can be an eatery or market stall, as well as a shop.
As I noted before, the Awards are intended to recognise shops and eateries for their trading excellence – something that I’m more than happy to support and celebrate. From my previous posts, you’ll know that Stockton town centre is not without its challenges, including major competition from other retail centres, some prominent empty units, and a number of other properties – such as Debenhams – that could use some TLC. However, it’s good to be involved in something that helps to counter the relentlessly negative commentary from The Local Data Company, where Stockton’s apparently high proportion of empty shop units was once again highlighted in the latest six-monthly data last week.
Entry forms for the Awards are available from libraries across the Borough, and businesses and the public can also submit an entry online at www.stockton.gov.uk/businessawards. The winner of each category will receive £250 at an awards ceremony at Stockton Town Hall on Friday 30 September.
I’m very much looking forward to seeing – and judging – all the contenders!