Voting now open to nominate your local independent ‘High Street Hero!'

July 7, 2021

The search is now on to find Northern Ireland’s High Street Heroes, a public online vote for shoppers and customers to choose their favourite independent retailer and overall local high street.

After the toughest year in a generation for our local high streets, the call has now opened for local shoppers to name the local retailers they feel should be rewarded for their tireless service to their community.

Whether your High Street Hero is your favourite butcher, baker, or barista, the campaign is a celebration of the brilliant work of independent retailers and the pride they bring to local communities. Votes are already rolling in and the competition is heating up as the deadline for nominations set to close in early August.

High Street Heroes NI is a joint campaign from Retail NI and the Irish News supported by Camelot and Translink. With thousands of votes cast last year across Northern Ireland competition is set to be stiff as town and villages vie for the overall titles.

Votes can be cast across 12 different categories with shoppers and customers asked to name their favourite convenience store, deli, butcher, off-license or Covid-19 champion, among others.

To give your local independent retailers the recognition they deserve place your vote at www.retailni.com/high-street-heroes

The High Street Heroes categories include:

  • Favourite retail outlet
  • Convenience Store
  • Off-Licence
  • Coffee Shop
  • Healthcare Retailer
  • Fashion Retailer
  • Butcher
  • Deli
  • Homeware Retailer
  • Overall Favourite High Street of the Year
  • Community COVID-19 Champion
  • Independent Retail Employee of the Year.

Retail NI Chief Executive, Glyn Roberts said: “We are delighted to launch High Street Heroes NI to highlight and celebrate the huge contribution independent retailers make to our local high streets and the economy. High Street Heroes NI gives consumers the opportunity to vote for their favourite independent retailer and high street.”

Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, Alderman Stephen Martin, said: “I am extremely proud of the independent retailers in Lisburn and Castlereagh and the contribution they make to our community. Retail NI’s campaign ensures the service and innovation that independent retailers bring to the high street is rightfully recognised and provides encouragement to our retailers. These awards are a great opportunity to celebrate their success in what has been a challenging year. I urge the public to vote for your favourite local independent to give them the recognition they deserve and help boost our economy once more.”

Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Development Committee, Alderman Amanda Grehan said: “Independent retailers make a huge contribution to our high street and our local communities. In recent months, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council has been working with local entrepreneurs to give them the support they need to grow, diversify and thrive and I’m pleased to say our high street is buzzing! We’re excited to welcome shoppers back to the city centre to enjoy the diverse range of retail offering available.”

Retail Director of sponsor, Camelot, Jenny Blogg said: “From small corner shops to local newsagents and well-stocked convenience stores – our 44,000 retail partners are the backbone of The National Lottery and, to most players, our public face. For that reason, we are delighted to support High Street Heroes NI, to help highlight some of the fantastic independent retailers who continue to serve communities across Northern Ireland – day in, day out.”

Irish News Group Marketing & Communications Manager, Annette Small added: “We have heard countless inspirational stories of local independent retailers adapting and innovating to not only survive, but thrive, in response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on shopping habits, socialising and everyday life. We can all play our part by buying local and voting for our favourite independent retailer via www.retailni.com/high-street-heroes.”

Translink Group Chief Executive, Chris Conway said: "It's never been more important to support our local independent retailers and we're ready to bring more people into cities, towns and villages to enjoy the fantastic choice, quality and personal touch on offer.

"Translink is committed to delivering a greener recovery and building back responsibly with robust safety measures in place across our bus and rail services to protect and reassure everyone on their journeys."