“Let’s Celebrate Towns”: Visa Honours Eight UK Towns for their Contribution to Business and Community Prosperity

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Visa, in collaboration with the British Retail Consortium (BRC), has honoured Altrincham, Armagh, Boscombe, Northwich, Sherborne, Shrewsbury, Waltham Cross, and Weston super-Mare at the ‘Let’s Celebrate Towns’ awards.

This nationwide showcase was designed to spotlight the remarkable efforts of towns across the UK in fostering thriving local businesses and communities.

The initiative builds on the success of 2023, during which winning towns invested in diverse community projects, ranging from historical tourism in Annan to cultural events in Pontypridd. By recognising these towns, the initiative aims to highlight the unique qualities that make each town special while promoting the adoption of best practices for business-led growth nationwide.

Following a rigorous selection process from a shortlist of 32 towns, these eight winners were judged across four key categories identified by Visa’s ‘Towns Vitality Roadmap’: Business Environment, People & Skills, Infrastructure, and Sustainability. Each town will receive £15,000 in direct investment towards a local community project or initiative, along with a tailored support programme for local businesses.

Mandy Lamb, Managing Director UK & Ireland at Visa, expressed enthusiasm about the initiative’s impact, stating, “At Visa, we’re committed to uplifting economies so that everyone in the local communities they serve can benefit. This initiative places towns at the forefront of our efforts and supports Visa’s aim of nurturing growth and prosperity at a local level.”

Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium, echoed Lamb’s sentiments, highlighting the significance of celebrating the diversity and contributions of UK towns. She remarked, “Following its success in 2023, it is exciting to hear more examples of how areas are helping to support high streets and communities, so that best practice can be spread more widely across the country.”

Visa’s Let’s Celebrate Towns initiative marks its second year of celebrating and recognising the invaluable contributions of local communities and economies across Britain. This initiative aligns with Visa’s broader commitment to digitally empower eight million small businesses across Europe, reinforcing its dedication to fostering economic development and prosperity at the grassroots level.