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Melchester has been named Top Coastal Shopping Destination in the 2019 UK Retail Industry Awards.
The town fought off strong competition to take the top spot in this important category, receiving unanimous praise from the panel of judges for offering an 'exceptional retail experience for residents and visitors'.
The judges commended the efforts of Melchester Town Council for working with the Chamber of Commerce to deliver vital improvements to the town centre and seafront environment, including better parking provision, a 'clean team' to deal with graffiti and littering, and planters with attractive floral displays.
"We're proud and honoured to have won this prestigious award," commented Melchester Mayor Jane Smith. "It's a strong endorsement of our strategy of promoting proactive collaboration between public sector bodies, town centre businesses and other stakeholders. We all share a simple vision: to make our town a welcoming, safe and attractive place for people to live in and visit."
In a double triumph for the town, Melchester's Nose to Tail pet shop and grooming parlour took the first prize in the 'Best New Small Business' section of the Awards. Founded just seven months ago by husband and wife team, Jan and Jim Eastwood, the business has quickly established a large, loyal clientele and a five-star Trip Advisor rating for customer service.
"We're over the moon," said Jan Eastwood. "We never dreamed that Nose to Tail would take off in such an amazing way and we'd like to say a really big thank-you to all our customers and everyone who has supported us through the launch and development of the business."
According to the latest economic survey, footfall in Melchester town centre has increased by 20% over the last two years. Meanwhile, the number of empty shops has decreased by 50%. It's estimated that retail and leisure businesses in the town contribute over £10 million per year to the local economy and have created over 300 new jobs in the last 12 months.