Bognor Regis residents have displayed a mix of reactions towards the news that the town’s high street could be named one of the best in Britain.
Bognor has made the final three of the annual Great British High Street competition and will go up against Prestatyn in Wales and Amble in Northumberland for the Coastal Communities prize.
The town centre has seen a lot of changes in recent years, with new paving, tree planting and street furniture all chosen to withstand the strong winds coming from the sea.
Charley Twitchett, 20, of Hook Lane, said: “The high street is a lot cleaner since they replaced the floor, it looks more sophisticated.
“It’s compared a lot to Chichester high street which is a lovely place to shop, and now it has been done up the gap between the two is closing.”
If Bognor Regis wins the government-run competition it will get a share of prize pot worth £80,000 and receive expert training and tailor-made tips from Google’s training task-force for one hundred of its shops, bars and restaurants.
Lesley Moore, 66, of Stoney Staff Close said: “The high street has improved no end, there are less empty shops than before.
“It used to be really tatty and unappealing, I would only come here if I had to but now it is so much better.”
However, there are still a few shoppers left uncertain over the nomination.
“Bognor high street has all the shops you need close together, and it is a lot cleaner but there are still things that could be improved,” said Peter Spencer, 82, of Ramillies Gardens.
“There’s a statue at the bottom of the high street that no one understands why it is there - it’s an eyesore.
“They should have made it into a water fountain.”
Simon Rouchey, 45, of Applegate Way, said: “It’s a very friendly area compared to places like London but it gets very deserted in the evenings and there are still a lot of empty shops about.”
The Great British High Street Competition 2015, sponsored by Boots, Costa, Post Office, Marks and Spencer and Tesco, is now in its second year and is one of a number of initiatives to help champion high streets as the cornerstones of the community.
Toyubur Rahman, Bognor Regis Town Centre Manager who led the entry for the competition, said: “We’re proud of Bognor Regis for being recognised for the journey the town is on and we hope this will be a real boon for the town.
“We’re going to be pulling out all the stops to make sure local people know about Bognor Regis’s short-listing.
“Now we just need everyone to show their support and get voting.”
To go online to cast your vote, visit the Great British High Street website www.thegreatbritishhighstreet.co.uk
Voting closes in November.
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