Plaque marks Rotherham town centre’s historic award victory

L to r:- Sajid Javid, secretary of state for the department of local government and communities, Councillor Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, and Julie Kenny, Rotherham Council commissioner.
L to r:- Sajid Javid, secretary of state for the department of local government and communities, Councillor Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, and Julie Kenny, Rotherham Council commissioner.

A plaque has been unveiled to put the seal of approval on Rotherham town centre’s crowning victory at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The town’s ‘historic core’ won the town centre category at the Great British High Street Awards last year, after they impressed judges with the improvements carried out on a number of buildings.

This included the transformation of key properties and making sure the heritage of buildings was preserved to keep their integrity, while at the same time bringing them up to 21st century standards.

To celebrate the landmark victory, Sajid Javid, secretary of state for the department of local government and communities, officially unveiled a plaque last week while shoppers, business owners and council officials looked on.

Mr Javid, who also toured the High Street and spoke to business owners, said: “Last year’s Great British High Street competition was a massive success.

“There were a record number of entries with hundreds of thousands of votes cast. Rotherham’s award winning entry stood out for its many independent shops and the restoration of its historic centre. I’m sure it will continue to really thrive.”

Councillor Chris Read, leader of Rotherham Council, added: “It was great to win the award last year, which recognised the hard work carried out by the retailers and business owners who believed in the high street and made their own investment alongside a number of partners.

“This restoration plays a crucial part in our ambitious plans to regenerate not just Rotherham town centre but across the borough as well. It is a credit to all those involved to see the High Street looking as good as it does now.”

Last year’s competition saw a record-breaking 230 entries and attracted over 200,000 public votes. Rotherham was singled out for its boutique and independent stores including those selling local produce. The town also received a share of an £80,000 prize pot and tips from Google’s training taskforce.