Shipston Promotion Group, which runs the Shipston Loyalty Card, is submitting the application on behalf of the town square, highlighting some of the many reasons why Shipston should be the judges’ choice.

Shipston Loyalty Card

The successful launch of the card, which brings together diverse businesses, has enabled the community to benefit from discounts as well as news about latest offers designed to encourage people to shop in the town. More than 2,000 people have signed up to the scheme, which has been running for more than two years. Funded in part by Operation Footfall, the card has enabled local businesses to attract customers through e-mail marketing and social media, as well as on the spot discounts in stores.

Community events

Local volunteers organise a raft of events for the community. Principal among them are the Wool Fair, Shipston Proms, the Food Festival and Shipston Rotary Victorian Evening. Each year, Shipston’s traders get involved, supporting them through stalls, special offers, and products and themed window displays, as well as advertising support. With each event drawing thousands of people to the town, it is a great opportunity for local businesses to make a positive impression while also encouraging visitors to return.

Growth in retail outlets

In the past year, Shipston has seen significant growth in new retail outlets and cafés, with about 95 per cent of available retail and catering units now occupied in the town centre. Church Street has seen a real revival with the opening of two clothes shops, a bookmakers and a children’s toys and clothes store, while the town centre now benefits from a choice of florists, cafés, delicatessens, butchers, hardware stores, food stores and newsagents.

Kate King, administrator of Shipston Promotion Group and local retailer, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have such a vibrant town centre which is well supported by shoppers.

“We hope the whole community will get behind the scheme by endorsing our application and sharing what they love about Shipston’s town centre.”

Shipston will be promoting the awards through its loyalty card Facebook page and Twitter feed (@ShipstonCard) using the hashtag #GBHighSt.

Shipston will be entering the Market Towns category of the new award scheme, which is a UK-wide competition. Category winners will be announced in September.