Shrewsbury is showcasing its vibrant town centre and appeal as an original destination to vie for the title of best high street in the country.

Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) has entered the town in the Great British High Street Awards 2018 to celebrate its achievements and gain wider recognition.

It has put Shrewsbury forward in the Champion High Street category on behalf of members and partner organisations. The category is judged on successes in community, customer experience, environment and digital transformation criteria.

Seb Slater, Executive Director of Shrewsbury BID, said: “We have a thriving community spirit and passionate organisations who work together to ensure our high street maintains a strong appeal and adapts to meet changing consumer demands.

“We believe we have something for everyone with our mix of independents and well-known retailers, an interesting heritage and charm, a lively events and festivals programme and a safe and welcoming night time economy.

“Entering the Great British High Street Awards is a chance for us to showcase all we offer and build on Shrewsbury’s reputation as an original one-off destination.”

The award entry highlights a range of initiatives from Shrewsbury’s improved transport links and free Sunday car parking from September, to business and gift guides, social media campaigns and a summer video to promote the town.

A varied calendar of regular festivals and events to celebrate food, music and Charles Darwin, the town’s most famous son, have been flagged up alongside such attractions as the outdoor screening of the Royal Wedding.

It is hoped imaginative events like the Wild Cop display of fibreglass animals on Wyle Cop to support businesses and attract shoppers during roadworks will also help its case.

Shrewsbury’s MP Daniel Kawczynski said: “I wish the BID and its partners every success in the Great British High Street Awards. It takes energy and passion to maintain and enhance the town centre’s appeal. It would be great if it was recognised through these awards; it would be well deserved.”

The awards are run by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and sponsored by Visa. The shortlisted entries will be announced in October. They will then go through to a public vote and be visited by a judging panel made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.

Winners in each of the four UK nations and the overall winner will be announced in November. There is a £10,000 cash prize for a local community project for the overall winner and a £5,000 contribution to a street party or community project for the remaining national winners.