Vote for your Preston high street hero

WIN: Ronnie Fitzpatrick won an award last year
WIN: Ronnie Fitzpatrick won an award last year
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People are being asked to vote for their high street heroes from Preston for a major awards ceremony.

The initiative, dubbed ‘Preston, It Smiles Better – The Awards’, will give people the opportunity to show their support for the city’s leisure and retail businesses which have been nominated for awards to celebrate their success.

By extending the awards to the retail sector, we are offering the people of Preston to have their say on who they think are the leading lights in our city.

In 2014, the awards were run purely for leisure businesses as the ‘Alive After Five Awards’ which attracted in excess of 30,000 votes for more than 200 nominees.

Mark Whittle, spokesman for organisers the Preston Business Improvement District (BID), said it had extended the awards to cover retailers in recognition of the great customer service being offered in the city. He said: “Preston is gaining a reputation as a place to come for great service whether you’re coming for a great night out or a successful shopping trip.

“The Alive After Five Awards showed people were proud of the diversity of offer that our night-time economy gave them but we recognise a thriving city centre is as much about what happens in the day as what happens in the evening.

“By extending the awards to the retail sector, we are offering the people of Preston to have their say on who they think are the leading lights in our city.”

Voting is now open through www.prestonitsmilesbetter.co.uk for people to pick their favourites.

Overall category finalists will then be ‘mystery shopped’ to find the winners which will be unveiled at a prize-giving ceremony in May.

In 2014, Ronnie Fitzpatrick, the former landlord at the Dog and Partridge, was awarded with a Special Recognition Award for his services to the city, while Kuckoo won Bar of the Year and and Baluga was crowned Club of the Year at the Alive After Five Awards.