Record number of voters name their Preston favourites

POPULAR: Venues like Turtle Bay feature in the city centre awards
POPULAR: Venues like Turtle Bay feature in the city centre awards
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A massive 82,000 votes have been cast in awards celebrating Preston’s nightlife and other businesses – almost 300 per cent more than last year.

Preston, It Smiles Better – The Awards have been organised by the Preston City Centre Business Improvement District and reinforce the message that the city’s businesses and venues offer a consistently outstanding service.

It is testament to the quality of businesses we have here in Preston City Centre and to the engagement the people of the city feel with them that we have had such a huge response to this competition.

Mark Whittle

The awards are the new incarnation of the Alive After Five Hospitality Awards, which were rebranded to include the city’s retail sector and have seen 82,614 votes cast.

An incredible 474 nominations have been received, up 282 per cent on last year’s nominations total.

The nominees include Turtle Bay’s Fran Toal in the Leisure Manager of the Year category, Joanne White of Strictly Cupcakes in Retail Manager of the Year and That Comic Shop in the Independent Retailer category.

Other awards celebrate the best pubs and bars, customer service champions, retailers, restaurants and entertainers.

BID manager Mark Whittle said: “This is the only scheme of its kind regionally that recognises its businesses in such a high-profile way and campaigns like this are so important to continually promote the businesses, and their staff, that we represent.

“It is testament to the quality of businesses we have here in Preston City Centre and to the engagement the people of the city feel with them that we have had such a huge response to this competition.”

Selected categories in the awards will now undergo a mystery shopper assessment to select the winner.

*For the full list of finalists, see Tuesday’s Evening Post