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Your high street needs you!

Interest in Leek's bid to be named England's Champion High Street is already building with the Streets Team making a visit to the town the top of their list!

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council is leading the bid for the Great British High Street Awards 2018 - a government initiative to recognise and celebrate the contribution high streets make to the life and vibrancy of our towns and cities.

And Leek was the first northern town the Visa Street Teams visited as part of their programme of visits to 30 randomly selected high streets across the UK.

The team visited over 40 independent retailers last Friday (27 July) to promote the launch of the Spend and Win competition which runs until 2 September. Anyone spending £10 or more using a Visa card in participating shops is in with a chance of winning £100.

Councillor Sybil Ralphs, Leader of the Council, said: "We were delighted to be the first town the Visa Streets Team visited in the north and our independent traders did a fantastic job of showcasing the variety and quality on offer locally.

"There's a real buzz around the town and we want to make sure the judges are aware of that enthusiasm and excitement by demonstrating the breadth of genuine support that exists both for Leek and for our bid.

"To make sure we capture these sentiments effectively we're asking people to share what they love about Leek, their reasons for visiting and shopping here and why they think we should be named the Champion High Street.

"It's really easy to get involved - just drop us as email to tourism.services@staffsmoorlands.gov.uk - and let's show the judges why our town is a winner!"

The deadline for entering bids is 22 August and the Council is asking people to email their support by 10 August.

The bidders are also keen to hear who people think is their High Street Hero as one lucky winner will also receive this accolade as part of the Awards.

Councillor Ralphs added: "We realise this might be a difficult choice as there are plenty of local heroes to choose from! But if you feel there is someone in particular who deserves special recognition for their efforts then please let us know and we'll include them in our entry."

The Awards cover England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will see 38 high streets shortlisted - 13 of those will be located in England.

Entries will be judged on four themes: community; customer experience; environment; and digital transformation. Any comments relating to these themes would be particularly welcome!

Britain's best high street will be announced in November with the winner receiving a £10,000 cash prize for a local community project.

You can also get involved on social media using #MyHighStreet and the campaign's social media channels Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.