The Great British High Street Awards 2014 were a huge success. High streets, towns, villages and cities up and down the country entered the competition and proved just how great our high streets really are and how important they are to our communities. We saw amazing examples of local people coming together to support their high streets and were bowled over by the passion and commitment shown by the entrants.

So this year, the competition is back and it is bigger and better. Once again looking for the nation’s best high streets across the same seven categories, but we will also be asking local people to help us in our search by getting them to vote for their winners. We are also launching a new special recognition award for a person or project that has made a particularly special or unique difference to their high street. This will include a ‘Rising Star’ award where we will look to recognise towns who have become ‘Rising Stars’ in turning fortunes around.

“Marcus Jones, Minister for High Streets, Town Centres and Markets wants to see more entries this year. He said: “Last year’s competition was a huge success, highlighting the wonderful work that local communities are putting in to support their much loved high streets. People really do cherish their local high streets and these awards are a great opportunity to reward the great work going on up and down the country. So start getting those entries in.”

Last year’s winner of winners, Belper, think even more teams should apply this year. “Winning the Great British High Street has been a wonderful boost to the town, stimulating interest and encouraging new partners to work with us. Local residents are more aware of how special their town is and the publicity has encouraged visitors from neighbouring areas to make a trip to see what the town has to offer. It has also generated a number of new ideas which we hope to implement to allow the town to continue to improve and build on the success. We’d really encourage villages, town and high streets to get involved in the 2015 competition.”

For more details about how to apply, please click here