By Daniel Hunter

The government has launched the second Great British High Street competition, giving towns and cities the opportunity to win a share of £50,000.

High Streets Minister Penny Mordaunt called on communities across the country to enter the competition and celebrate their success in transforming towns and cities into great places to shop and socialise.

The first Great British High Street competition last year saw 135 communities battle it out to be crowned the nation’s best with Belper in Derbyshire emerged as the overall winner.

Ms Mordaunt said she wanted to see even more entries this year with communities for the first time having the chance to vote directly for their best loved high street.

She said: "High streets are a vital part of our economy supporting thousands of jobs in retail and leisure but they are also the heart of all communities providing a great place for friends and family to meet.

"There is so much amazing innovation happening on our high streets. We want to reward the great work that is being done to improve these crucial assets as well as showcase ideas which can be a springboard for others to try.

"The first competition last year was a tremendous success and I want this year to be even better."

The competition is designed to help revitalise high streets by promoting the great work that is being done and sharing good ideas across the country.

As well as the cash prize, winners will also receive dedicated support and mentoring from industry experts which could range from one to one coaching to advice on digital marketing.

The competition categories are:

- best city centre high street
- best town centre high street
- best market town high street
- best coastal community high street
- best village high street
- best parade of shops
- best London high street

The nominations will come from throughout the UK and a shortlist will be announced in early August. Those shortlisted will be visited by the Future High Streets Forum judging panel made up of industry leaders from across retail, property and business.

Simon Roberts, Executive Vice President of Walgreens Boots Alliance and President of Boots, and Future High Streets Forum Co-Chairman said: "Communities really care about their local high streets and are passionate about making them ‘go to’ destinations for all. We are delighted to continue to support the Great British High Street competition and to celebrate and recognise real innovation and local leadership right across the UK."

Joanne Bamford, Belper Town Team and Great British High Street competition winner and overall champion said: "Winning the Great British High Street has been a wonderful boost to the town, stimulating interest and encouraging new partners to work with us. Local residents are more aware of how special their town is and the publicity has encouraged visitors from neighbouring areas to make a trip to see what the town has to offer.

"On the back of the competition we have received enquiries from new retailers considering expanding into the town, prospective residents looking to relocate and looking for a town with a real identity to coach companies planning to visit the area.

"The award has provided us with a wonderful platform to promote our town and the innovative projects delivered by the partners. It has also generated a number of new ideas which we hope to implement to allow the town to continue to improve and build on the success.

"We would really encourage villages, town and high streets to get involved in the 2015 competition."

Details of how to enter the Great British High Street competition can be found here: