Colne impresses ‘Great British High Street’ judges

Left to right: Sandra Fernandeze of Pendle Belles, Jayne Cains a retailer in The Arcade, Judges Simon Roberts & Liz Byron; Ashley Sutcliffe from Live Like the Boy with his dog Stanley (S)
Left to right: Sandra Fernandeze of Pendle Belles, Jayne Cains a retailer in The Arcade, Judges Simon Roberts & Liz Byron; Ashley Sutcliffe from Live Like the Boy with his dog Stanley (S)

The Great British Market Town judges were wowed by Colne when they visited the town on Tuesday!

Colne is in the top three in the finals for Best Market Town in the UK, competing against the larger towns of Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds and Helmsley in North Yorkshire.

To be crowned champion, Colne needs your votes!

Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Mohammed Iqbal

Judges Simon Roberts, president of Boots, and Liz Byron, from the Department of Communities and Local Government, toured Colne, meeting retailers, market traders and other representatives from the town.

Simon Roberts said: “It’s an incredible town! More than anything it’s about pride and confidence in the future.

“I’m blown away!” he confessed. “This is a brilliant local partnership and we’ve been inspired by your spirit and passion for Colne!”

The judges were impressed by the award entry co-ordinated by Pendle Council, the Colne Town Centre Forum and Colne Town Council, and they were eager to see the town and meet the people involved. They started their tour at independent coffee merchants About Coffee.

They are one of many Colne businesses who have had a grant and they used it to improve their Victorian building on Church Street. Owner Colin Unwin explained how Colne’s high street is like one long department store and the way businesses support each other.

The judges also visited the beautifully refurbished arcade at the top of Colne and met retailers there.

Later they watched the premiere of a new video at the new bar called No.62 on Albert Road.

No.62 is another business in an elegant historic building which has benefited from a Pendle Council grant. The new video featured traders as the stars and can soon be seen via Pendle Council’s website, Facebook and Twitter.

The visit came on the day it was announced that Colne is still in third place out of three in the running to be Best Market Town in the UK.

Simon urged local people to vote saying: “I hope all your residents have voted at least once!”

Sarah Cockburn Price, Town Council chairman, helped to write the successful bid, working with the Colne Town Centre Forum and Pendle Council. She explained: “The number of votes for Colne makes up 50% of final decision. The rest is down to the judges. The organisers of the Great British High Street of the Year awards have made it clear that you can vote once a day per email address.

“Anyone with a passion for Colne should make online voting part of their daily routine. http://thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk/finalist-market-town ”

Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Mohammed Iqbal, who leads on economic development, said: “To be crowned champion, Colne needs your votes! It’ll be a great boost to the town if we win.”

Simon added: “There’s fantastic collaboration and partnership here - you’ve got all the right ingredients for success. Colne is a fantastic success story of what’s possible.”

Simon thanked everyone for making their visit so enlightening, saying: “There’s a great sense of community here. We’ve had incredible hospitality! We’ve had a fantastic afternoon here in Colne.”