ROCHDALE residents are being urged to show their support as the Town Centre bids for a prestigious national award.
The public is being asked to use social media to demonstrate its backing for Rochdale's entry in the Great British High Street Awards.
The much-regenerated town centre, which has been completely transformed over the past five years and is set to change further with the addition of a new retail and leisure development, is vying for the coveted Rising Star crown in the annual initiative.
If successful, Rochdale would share in a cash pot and receive dedicated support and mentoring from industry experts.
The entry has been submitted by Rochdale Town Centre Management, with help from Rochdale Council and Rochdale Development Agency. The entry is supported by the many events and activities staged in the town centre, which includes The Feel Good Festival, Half Marathon, and this years unveiling of Our Gracie statue and the award winning revealing of the River Roch project The next event, Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival, takes place from 19 to 24 October with six days of inspiration covering literature, drama, music, comedy, current affairs and more. Also planned are the second Rochdale Town Centre / CAMRA Beer Festival on November 10 to 12 and the Christmas lights switch-on on November 26
Mark Foxley, of Rochdale Town Centre Management, said: "In Rochdale there have been many great projects, such as Revealing the Roch, Rochdale in Bloom and the recent Gracie Fields statue unveiling, which have enhanced the beauty and vitality of our town. This year there's been an event in the town centre almost every month.
"In addition, the council’s business rates initiative has brought investment to the town along with free parking for up to three hours increasing footfall – we've created a new website and town-centre guides, and we're only just getting started! In a few years Rochdale will be a different landscape and you can already see the massive improvements.
"The Great British High Street Awards is a brilliant opportunity for us and the Rising Star accolade would be a great achievement.
"High streets are a vital part of our local economy, providing jobs as well as offering a valuable community space.
"We'd love it if as many people as possible from the local area could show their support by using the hashtags #GBHighSt and #Rochdale."
Once a shortlist of entries has been announced, people will be able to vote for their favourite.
The Great British High Street organisation, a not-for-profit body, supports the regeneration of high streets across Britain and celebrates innovative schemes.
A spokesman for the awards said: "We have been bowled over by the number and quality of the entries and are now busy considering all the applications."
Finalists will be announced next month.
Visit www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk for more details.
For further information about Rochdale Town Centre Management www.rochdaletowncentre.co.uk