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Search begins for Scotland's most beautiful high street

By Alistair Whitfield

Forres High Street
Forres High Street

A CONTEST to find the country's most attractive high street has been launched by two of Scotland’s best known organisations.

Entries will be judged on factors such as floral displays and community participation.

A shortlist will be prepared by Keep Scotland Beautiful and Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

The winner will then chosen by a public vote and announced during Scotland’s Towns Week in November.

Turriff was victorious last year.

The Aberdeenshire town's entry highlighted its numerous heritage sites, including the emblematic Turra Coo sculpture.

Marj Chalmers, chairwoman of the Turriff Business Association, is encouraging towns to get involved.

She said: "Winning was a great boost for Turriff. I would encourage anybody to take part as it greatly benefited us.

"We had lots of press coverage and also television news coverage with STV news visiting Turriff and doing a report. The footfall was increased greatly and it certainly put Turriff on the map with the businesses benefitting from the extra trade.

"The award that I and my colleague Rose Logan collected from the Parliament building in Edinburgh was proudly displayed around Turriff in members' premises a week at a time and finally now has pride of place in our library.

"It was fantastic we won and was a big thank-you to all the groups involved that keep Turriff spotless and beautiful with hanging baskets and litter collection."

Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: "Although some of our high streets have faced challenges in light of the growth of online retail, the spirit of reinvention is very much alive.

"Some towns have totally reinvented – Wigtown as the Book Town, West Kilbride as the Craft Town, Kirkcudbright as the Art Town, Oban for seafood, Dunoon and Fort William as outdoor leisure specialists.

"Towns like Inverurie, Prestwick, Gourock and Kilmalcolm are all beginning to see a strong rise in the growth of independent and high quality local niche retail.

"Our high streets and town centres are the beating hearts of communities and local economies, and each has its unique identity and experience to offer for both residents and visitors.

"We want to celebrate the contribution of our high streets and recognise the efforts made to make these spaces clean, attractive, accessible, vibrant and inclusive for all to enjoy."

Towns can enter by way of a short written statement submitted by email to ewan@scotlandstowns.org.

The deadline is the last day of September.

Cullen High Street
Cullen High Street

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