High street Birmingham

Blackburn has been named the best town centre in Britain in a government competition that aims to boost the high street.

More than 500,000 votes were cast in the third Great British High Street Awards, with Blackburn beating 26 other finalists to claim the £10,000 prize.

Winners in the competition will share £100,000 in funding and also receive expert training from Google’s digital taskforce for shops, bars and restaurants plus and a trip to Twitter UK’s London office to boost their social media skills.

“Town centres are being revitalised, with vacancy rates falling over the last year, and Blackburn is a great example of how hard work and support for local businesses can turn things around,” said communities secretary Sajid Javid.

Blackburn BID manager Harriet Roberts added: “The message we’ve been putting out is come and see Blackburn and it’s changed. This is a milestone for Blackburn town centre. This has made us believe in ourselves even more. Everyone’s got behind us and it means so much to the town.”

Other winners in the Great British High Street Awards were:

• City location winner - The Cathedral Quarter, Derby

• Large market town winner - Bridgnorth, Shropshire

• Small market town winner - Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

• Coastal community winner - Falmouth, Cornwall

• Local centre winner - Hoole, Chester

• Village winner - Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire

• London winner - Myddleton Road, Haringey

• Rising star winner - Stockton-on-Tees