What makes our High Street great?

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People love their town centre and now you have the chance to say what’s great about yours.

Our ‘‘Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local’’ campaign is supporting the Association of Town and City Management’s Great British High Street of the Year Awards.

And Mary Jane Armstrong, town centre manager, believes Bo’ness could be a contender.

A great High Street is where the local community comes first, where they are engaged and feel like it has the shops, services and 
experiences they want.

It hosts exciting events and activities to encourage people to visit, whether this is during the day, evening or night, with more cafés, bars, restaurants and other attractions.

And great places can be discovered online too as our High Streets gradually become digital environments using social media, website presence and better marketing to keep their community informed.

Our High Streets, town and city centres are more than bricks and mortar. They are where we meet, relax and celebrate.

Mary Jane said: ‘‘Town Centre Management already works closely with businesses to encourage shoppers to Shop Local, Eat Local and Play local.

‘‘The leaflet ‘Unlock The Secrets of Bo’ness’ was distributed to all tourist areas and local attractions including B&Bs specifically to 
encourage visitors into the town centre.

‘‘Events such as Victorian Street Fair, Christmas switch-on, Aviemore Reindeer events, Italian week, Bo’ness Fair, Hill Climb Revival, Dig In At The Dock bike event, music events, Open Doors Day at Kinneil, motor museum, railway events, the Real Ale festival and the Hippodrome Cinema all put the town in the spotlight.’’

Shopping has long played a central role when we consider what makes a High Street tick but, as people’s needs evolve, we are seeing a rise in ‘‘beyond retail’’ activities that improve the experience of ‘‘going into town’’.

The Association of Town and City Management’s Great British High Street of the Year Awards aim to celebrate the incredible diversity and services that British high streets provide. There are six categories - city centre, town centre, market town, coastal community, local shopping centre or parade of shops and village.

Applications are open until August 1.

But we want you to tell us what makes your high street great.

E-mail editorial@journalandgazette.co.uk or have your say on Twitter using the hashtag #jphighstreets.

You can also send your videos and pictures via our website at www.linlithgowgazette.co.uk and click on the ‘‘Share Your Story’’ headline on our home page.