Edinburgh team nominated for best UK town centre award

A team from the City of Edinburgh Council is in the running for a prestigious national award for supporting the city's town centres.

Edinburgh has been short listed by the Association of Town Centre Management for the 'Best UK Town Centre Team / Town Centre Partnership' award.

The team has been recognised for their support driving up footfall and increasing spend in the city's designated nine town centres. This has been achieved through a series of low cost, high impact promotional activities. 

Tasked to 'build stronger town centres' the team made up of town centre coordinators works closely with the Federation of Small Businesses, Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, BIDs Scotland, local traders, all Council departments and other external partners.

The team also offer additional support across the local centres in Edinburgh including the Royal Mile, West End, Thistle Street, Roseburn and Easter Road.

Established in March 2010, after the Council received Town Centre Regeneration Funding for Portobello, the team has championed 'clean-ups' of the centres as well as rolling out citywide animation of empty units by displaying local art and public information boards. They have also produced street banners and worked on many local promotional activities.

The team also helped to secure a 'Yes' vote for South Queensferry to become a Business Improvement District (BID) this month and are now helping the Grassmarket area through the same process.

These instant improvements have helped revitalise and raise retailer confidence and all of this activity has helped reduce the vacancy rates in each of the nine town centres, which are all below the Scottish average of 15.4%.

Cllr Tom Buchanan, Convener of the Economic Development Committee, said: "This is a fantastic achievement and I wish the team luck in winning this national recognition for Edinburgh. 

"We need to support our town centres as they are suffering from the impact of online shopping, supermarkets and out of town shopping centres. Our aim is to have vibrant town centres which create and retain jobs and attract new investment enhancing civic pride."

The nine designated town centres are Corstorphine, Gorgie/Dalry, Leith Central, Leith Walk, Morningside/Bruntsfield, Nicolson Street/Clerk Street, Portobello, Stockbridge, and Tollcross.

The team also offer additional support across the local centres in Edinburgh including the Royal Mile, West End, Thistle Street, Roseburn and Easter Road.

The award will be announced at a dinner in Bristol on Tuesday, 3 July 2012.

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