Members of public have the opportunity to vote for their high street heroes with the return of Preston’s ‘Smiles Better Awards’.
The competition returns for a fourth year after a hugely successful year in 2018, which saw more than 200 nominations, 98,000 public votes and worldwide media attention thanks to the Fishergate Bollard nomination!
The awards, staged by Preston Business Improvement District (BID) and sponsored by the NWL Chamber of Commerce, provide Preston‘s visitors with the chance to show their support for the city’s leisure and retail businesses by voting for them online.
“The awards are a great opportunity for city centre businesses to take the limelight”, said BID Manager, Mark Whittle.
“We have a vibrant city centre that continues to grow and improve, offering something for everyone. Whether people are coming for a shopping trip or a night out Preston remains a strong choice.”
“The city centre has a reputation for offering outstanding service and these awards are staged purely to recognise those businesses that excel by keeping Preston’s customers happy and returning time after time – we would encourage everyone to go online and vote for their favourite shops, leisure venues and people”.
Last year’s ceremony at The Guildhall saw former leader of Preston City Council, Peter Rankin, awarded the special recognition prize for his services to the city. Over 300 guests were treated to dinner before the award’s ceremony followed by a special appearance from TV star Sherrie Hewson of Coronation Street, Benidorm and Carry On fame.
The 2019 competition sees 16 categories in which the public can vote, including a new category for Preston’s market traders.
Nominations were received from businesses and their employees throughout January.
The headline award, ‘special recognition’ will be awarded to an individual who has been synonymous with Preston having made a significant contribution to the city – this winner in this category will be decided by city stakeholders.
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the NWL Chamber of Commerce, sponsors of the Smiles Better Awards, said: “The Smiles Better Awards play an important role in highlighting the amazing achievements of our city centre businesses and the people behind them. They have a lot to be proud of.”
Voting opens on 1 February and closes on 28 February at 5.00pm.
Votes can be cast online by visiting SmilesBetterAwards