Town centre is going for gold

Does Hemel Hempstead have one of the best high streets in Britain?

Thursday, 22nd September 2016, 1:02 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:31 pm
Hemel town centre

Dacorum bosses certainly think so, which is why they have put the town forward for the 2016 Great British High Street Awards.

The town has been entered for both the Rising Star and Town Centre categories. The entries place a strong emphasis on improvements that have come out of the £30million Hemel Evolution project, such as the ‘play-on-the-way’ children’s areas along Marlowes, and the New Town Square central entertainment space.

Other changes coming out Hemel Evolution include the updated bus interchange, the walkway to the restored Jellicoe Water Gardens, the rejuvenated Hemel Old Town, and the development of the neighbouring Gade Zone.

Councillor Graham Sutton, council portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, said: “We’ve had such positive feedback about the Hemel Evolution transformation and there’s a renewed buzz when you walk down Marlowes.

“This competition is searching for the very best ideas, innovation and creativity and we feel our town stands an excellent chance of winning.”

High streets minister Andrew Percy said: “Last year’s competition was a massive success, helping to showcase the very best high streets across the country, with thousands of votes cast and winning high streets reporting an increase in shoppers.”

The top three shortlisted towns in each category will be announced in October.

They will then go through to a public online vote.