Pateley Bridge is basking in the glory of being the best in Britain in a prestigious competition - and it may hold a street party next year to capitalise on its incredible success.
This small Dales towm's stunning victory in the Great British High Street competition is expected to give a huge boost to the town’s economic prospects.
Keith Tordoff of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade’s Keith Tordoff and Kirsty Shepherd made the journey to London to represent the town.
Keith said: “Myself and Kirsty were very tense and anxious. We really weren’t sure Pateley was going to win.
“It was a massive relief and surprise when Pateley Bridge got gold for being the best high street in the country in the Village Category.”
The team leaders celebrated their success by being invited into the House of Commons for a coffee and chat by Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon who had supported the town’s bid strongly.
Julian Smith said: “Congratulations to Pateley Bridge for winning. Over the past weeks I’ve seen the huge amount of hard work that went into putting the village’s campaign together and especially in organising the judges’ visit.
“I’m so pleased their efforts have been recognised in this way.”
Pateley Bridge saw off competition in the final from two rivals - Kirkby Lonsdale on the edge of the Lake District and the ancient market town of Langport in Somerset.
Now the town is planning to use its newly-won national recognition to boost the town and its economy further.
Keith Tordoff said: “The win gives massive national recognition showcasing what Pateley Bridge has to offer not just the locals but visitors from around the country and the world.
“There’s also the bonus of £5, 000 prize money which the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade will use to promote Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge.
“There may even be a small amount of money allocated for a street party/carnival for when the unveiling of the official plaque take place in the early part of next year.
“Andrew Percy MP the High Streets Minister has intimated he would like to be invited to the unveiling.”
Coun Richard Cooper, Leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said he was thrilled by Pateley’s success.
He said: “As Leader of the Borough Council I am proud that this award is coming to the Harrogate district.
“The accolade really belongs to Pateley Bridge though. It iis the businesses, shopkeepers, parish council and local residents who all worked together to achieve this.
“I hope this win will encourage more people to visit the Dales and see just what a fantastic welcome they will get.”
At the grand final, the announcement paid fulsome tribute to the effort of the whole town to revive and transform the fortunes of its cobble-stoned high street.
They were particularly impressed by the community’s efforts to fill vacant units on the high street and work to develop new businesses and jobs.
They also praised the work the competition bid team had made with schools, churches and residents in Pateley Bridge to put he high street at the heart of the community.