Choose Woodbridge has entered the town into The Great British High Street of the Year 2016 award, because we know that the businesses and residents of Woodbridge have worked tirelessly together to cultivate one of the most vibrant, independent and quirky high streets in the country.
Woodbridge has overcome the John Lewis and Tesco’s effect to fight back and succeed.
The award is run by the Future High Streets Forum which, as an organisation, brings together leaders across retail, property and business to better understand the competition town centres, across the country, face and to drive forward new ideas and policies.
Yes, we have a few national chains, but these mix well and compliment our independents. When Joules opened, some ladies camped throughout the night to be first in the queue! Our vacancy rate on the Thoroughfare is much lower than the national average and we have boutiques and homeware shops jostling shoulders with a family-run hardware store (just round the corner from the Thoroughfare), bookshop and a greengrocers (round the other corner). It’s unbelievable variety that is rarely seen anywhere else.
Sonia Lambert from Suffolk Coastal District Council had this to say about our entrance for the award:
“Since the designation of Woodbridge as a Portas Pilot in 2012 partnership working to improve the town centre has gone from strength to strength. Choose Woodbridge has become established as the business and tourism association, making the town a vibrant destination by supporting events such as Woofbridge, Easter Egg Hunt and the Shuckfest Shellfish Festival.”
The Choose Woodbridge team and all of our members have worked tirelessly to promote the beautiful town of Woodbridge, putting in the work and dedication to bring the town the recognition it deserves. Over the past two years we have undergone a major transformation. From a purely Chamber of Commerce model, the organisation has morphed to reflect our expanding remit to encompass the wider needs of the community. We formed a Community Interest Company (CIC) in 2015, which now operates as a social enterprise and ploughs any profits and assets for the good of Woodbridge.
The finalists of The Great British High Street of the Year 2016 will be announced in mid-October, we’ll be promoting our entry in the run up to the award, so stay tuned.