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Wellington shortlisted in Great British High Street competition

By Mat Growcott | Wellington | News | Published:

Wellington has been shortlisted for a national title for its regeneration efforts.

Market traders celebrate the town being shortlisted

The town has entered the Government’s "Great British High Street" awards and is now a step closer to walking away with one of the top accolades, having been shortlisted for the Rising Star category.

In 2016, Bridgnorth won the Best Large Market Town category in the same competition.

Wellington's entry is a collaborative effort between Telford & Wrekin Council, Wellington Town Council and the community – all headed up through the Love Wellington campaign, which was launched to promote the town.

Hanna Leeson, from Love Wellington, said: “To be a finalist in this competition is incredible recognition of the great work going on all around the town.

“There are so many volunteer groups doing fantastic things and the councils are partnering with the community and Love Wellington to make Wellington great again.”

Current regeneration initiatives highlighted in the award entry include the recently-opened Wellington Orbit community cinema, café and arts venue; an empty shops grant scheme funded by Telford & Wrekin Council which has attracted new businesses such as Nanny’s Bakery, Nathan Rous PR and The Walnut restaurant and a programme of facade improvements concentrated on the historic market square and mural trail.

All of these projects are receiving funding through Telford & Wrekin Council’s Pride in Our High Streets Programme.

Community and business-led initiatives include the formation of the Friends of Wellington Station and several local litter picks – including those organised by The YMCA, All Saints Church and youngster Shannon Marsh Lloyd.

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Meanwhile Friends of Dothill Nature Reserve are improving wildlife habitats, Friends of Bowring Park are injecting new life into the town's Edwardian recreation ground, Wellington H2A organises colourful arts and heritage events through the year and Wellington LA21 celebrates the history of the town with walks and trails, working in partnership with Walkers are Welcome.

Hanna said: “Retailers and traders will have an important part to play in our entry - demonstrating that they are adopting new technologies such as their online visibility through social media and embracing more modern payment methods.

“It’s been wonderful to be part of the Love Wellington team since March and see all the positive things that are happening in our lovely town. There are ten of us in the team and we are all members of the Wellington community; I’ve lived here all my life and run a business in the town, and my partner runs a framing business in the market.

“The Love Wellington team members didn’t know each other before, but our shared love for Wellington and our commitment to help promote the town has united us into a focused task force.”

The public can cast their vote for the award bit.ly/2YYVng6 .

An independent judging panel will also visit the town on September 5, with the winners being revealed at an awards ceremony in November.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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