Yes, it’s official. Our chairman, Shaun Fagan, is a star! Scoring his own personal award in the Great British High Street competition, we’re delighted to see him shine.
Shaun (above, middle) is one of a few “outstanding individuals” singled out by the GB High Street competition organisers for his “outstanding contribution” to Chipping Norton High Street.
He can look forward to a higher media profile in 2016, with his pen portrait due to be promoted on the #GBHighSt website and social media channels throughout the year.
Our chairman was given the good news in January, following ECN’s placement as Runner Up in the Market Town category of the Great British High Street of the Year Awards 2015.
Shaun says: “It’s a wonderful honour to receive this Special Recognition Award, especially on the back of ECN’s #GBHighSt success. It’s so pleasing to see our digital innovation recognised by national judges in such a prestigious competition.
“A big thank you to all the ECN members, volunteers, businesses and residents involved in our winning campaign. ECN is a vibrant and forward-thinking group, and my award couldn’t have happened without the backing of a great team.
“We’re determined to make Chipping Norton the best it can be, and there’s plenty still to do. 2016 is shaping up to be another big year for our town.”
Why Shaun Fagan is an “outstanding individual”
Here’s what #GBHighSt organisers told us:
“This award is made in recognition of the fantastic work undertaken by Experience Chipping Norton (ECN) in showcasing the best of “Chippy”. Your media platform, connecting, supporting and promoting local trade, has proven to be resounding success, attracting tourism and increasing community involvement.
“The development of a walking app showing the best of “Chippy” is also a great initiative, as is #ChippyHour. Your social media campaign shows how much passion the local residents have for their high street, including the local beer-guzzling dog!”
Why was Chippy Runner Up in the GB High St Awards
- Chipping Norton drew the highest public vote in its category
- ECN scored 10/10 for Innovation and 8/10 for Collaboration
- The judges said: “Chipping Norton’s dynamic team have put in place an impressive digital platform.”
“Chipping Norton’s success in becoming a finalist this year is based on their highly transferable digital platform – it does not need a lot of investment, skill or resource to deliver – most small towns could generate Chipping Norton’s level of passion, commitment and success.
The strong reduction in vacancy rates combined with a clear collaboration between businesses showed that positive outcomes have been clearly achieved.
Previously, there had been fear about national chains settling in Chipping Norton, however now it is seen to be supporting footfall for high street shops and the market itself.
Their highly transferable success is clear from the efficiency of their team, making apt use of investment, skill and resource to deliver outcomes.
Walking Tour App impressive in its ability to place local shops and attractions on the map. Slack App was a simple yet highly transferable idea.
Digital Excellence in Chipping Norton
While Helmsley in Yorkshire won the overall title – well done, Helmsley! – Chipping Norton was placed second among scores of market towns competing in the largest category of the 2015 competition.
This followed a long, intense social media and community campaign designed to win public votes, along with a chance to impress the judges during a two-hour town visit. Our opening picture shows the two GB High Street judges who visited Chippy: Thomas Lovesey (left) and Andy Godfrey (right).
Now in their third year, the Great British High Street of the Year Awards are a special initiative designed to promote business and rejuvenate high streets up and down the UK.
According to Shaun Fagan: “We believe Chipping Norton can become a national leader in digital excellence, integrating and promoting our town through an extensive online media platform.
“We aim for best practice in our use of the latest digital technology and software, and are excited about its enormous possibilities for high streets of the future. As well as high streets right now!”