A GLASGOW high street is among eight across Scotland to have been shortlisted for being the best and most ambitious in the UK.

The retail hotspots are all in the running to win a £15,000 prize as part of the Great British High Street Awards 2018.

The Scottish high streets shortlisted for the overall champion category include:

  • Alness High Street, Ross and Cromarty
  • A77 Pollokshaws/Kilmarnock Road corridor, Glasgow
  • Turriff High Street, Aberdeenshire
  • Kirriemuir High Street, Angus
  • Kirkwall High Street, Orkney
  • Newport-on-Tay High Street, Fife

Newport-on-Tay is also in the running for the rising star award, as well as Prestwick Main Street and Ayr High Street.

The categories will now be put to a public vote, which counts for 30 per cent of the final score, before being looked at by a judging panel.

High Streets Minister Jake Berry MP said: “Congratulations to all 38 high streets shortlisted for this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

“The awards celebrate the great work that is being done to revive, adapt and diversify the nation’s high streets and the quality of entries this year has been outstanding.

“Over the next six weeks they have the chance to impress an expert judging panel as they also battle it out in a public vote for the title of Britain’s best high street.

“This is a great opportunity to show your support for all the hard work taking place on our high streets, so get voting.”

Glasgow Times:
Pollokshaws Road in Shawlands has been shortlisted for the top award

The shortlist comes after recent research by credit card firm Visa, which sponsors the awards, showed signs of renewed confidence in the country’s high streets despite a challenging retail environment.

The findings revealed that more than a third (39%) of Scotland’s independent high street retailers are optimistic about the future of their local high street, while almost four out of five (79%) Scottish shoppers claim they would miss their local high street if it was no longer there.

Sundeep Kaur, head of UK & Ireland Merchant Services at Visa, said: “At a time when the nation’s high streets are transforming, this year’s Great British High Street Awards shortlist contains some fantastic examples of high streets and merchants which are evolving and embracing change to attract visitors.

“It is genuinely heartening to see so many businesses and communities that are harnessing their adaptability, resilience and creativity to offer the services and experiences that today’s shoppers want.”

Author and TV presenter Simon Reeve, who will act as a judge, added: “I’ve spent the last couple of months visiting independent high street retailers across the UK and I’ve been blown away by the passion and commitment shown by shopkeepers to keep their high streets alive, especially in this challenging climate.

“The best examples are those that are listening closely to their customers and innovating to meet their demands. These are the shops and high streets that will stand the test of time.”

A total of 38 high streets have been shortlisted for the 2018 awards, which are organised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

The public and the judges will select an overall UK winner, as well as a winner from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for each of the two categories: the Champion and Rising Star awards.

The UK champion will receive a £10,000 grant for a local community project, while each of the individual country winners will receive £5000 towards a street party.

The Rising Star winners will each receive £5000 towards a local community project.

The results will be revealed at an awards ceremony in London on November 15.

Anyone looking to vote in the awards can do so at www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk.

Previous winners of the best high street award include Blackburn in 2016, Bishy Road in York in 2015, and Norwich Lanes in Norfolk in 2014.

The awards did not take place last year.