Awards night for city’s best

The best: Last year's Alive After Five Awards, now renamed

The best: Last year's Alive After Five Awards, now renamed

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Around 300 businessmen and women will next week attend an awards event celebrating Preston’s vibrant city centre.

Organised by the Preston City Centre Business Improvement District, almost 100,000 votes were cast for the Preston, It Smiles Better Awards, with 474 nominations received for the 14 award categories.

There is a tremendous offering in the city now across all sectors with something for everyone

The awards, which follow on from the Alive After Five Hospitality Awards, have been extended to include the retail sector, include categories such as independent retailer, best nightclub, pub of the year and entertainer of the year.

The winners will be given a commemorative plaque during a glittering ceremony at Evoque Nightclub on Tuesday.

The evening will be presented by BBC’s John Gillmore and national radio presenter Luke Marsden, and a special recognition award will be presented on the night by North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Babs Murphy.

BID manager Mark Whittle said: “This promises to be an evening to remember with lots of fun, good food and top notch entertainment. But it is important to remember the reason this is happening. Preston City Centre is on the up – our recent survey of people on the streets showed that perceptions of the city are extremely positive and the incredible level of engagement we saw through these awards have really backed that up.

“There is a tremendous offering in the city now across all sectors with something for everyone.”