GRA Retail District Award Shortlist Announced

Retail District Award

Entries to the Retail District category of the 2021 Good Retail Awards have showcased many impressive examples of retailers using innovation to succeed in what has been an incredibly challenging year.

We would like to take the time to say thank you to all who entered. The number of inspirational stories shared by so many retailers made it a privilege (and a real challenge!) to narrow them down to the final shortlist.

The Retail District Award is open to any retail area producing innovative campaigns and exciting customer-centric initiatives to create a buzz around the retail stores in their area. 

Modern Retail is delighted to announce the official shortlist for the 2021 Good Retail Awards’ Retail District Award.

The Retail District Award Shortlist 2021:

Radcliffe Market

Radcliffe Market set out to connect their community with each other, great traders and increasingly more local and ethical products and service. Aiming to create greater belief and pride in their town, they also wanted to become the instigator and catalyst for change in the local area. Beginning as a group of volunteer directors, Radcliffe Market had to find funding, resource and support to make the market fit for the future.

By providing the opportunity for new and existing traders to establish their businesses with support and greater economic efficiency, this has generated and supported more than 50 new jobs. Catering for the entire community through their trading markets and introduction of evening food and entertainment markets, Radcliffe Market has built a connection with smaller community groups. This has been achieved by using their space for tea dances for the elder members of society, as well as yoga and tai chi classes, food masterclasses, cinema nights and outreach to local schools for involvement in remembrance activities.

Radcliffe Market’s work has also seen them set up a social fund for supporting local causes through their membership programme. Their cooperative and not for profit approach has worked to reinvest back into the community, helped new and local businesses to thrive and has truly reinvigorated the town.

Made in Ashford

Made in Ashford has provided a platform for local creative businesses to sell their products, as well as helping to regenerate the town, support micro businesses and celebrate creativity, all for free or at an affordable price.

Selling local creatives’ products in their brick and mortar shop and online, Made in Ashford has also launched online live shopping events, online market nights and a physical regular makers market; creating multiple channels for members to sell their products. To assist the positive regeneration of the town, members and other local creatives have run workshops with some places being funded, preventing there being a barrier to entry. Made in Ashford also has free content online full of ideas for anybody to download, which has increased website visits and grown members’ visibility and success simultaneously.

Made in Ashford’s ongoing efforts have worked to benefit the community, inspiring locals, encouraging business collaborations, growing members’ sales and benefiting the town in challenging times.

Hebden Bridge Business Forum

Hebden Bridge Business Forum has worked to support local businesses through voluntary support and not for profit, as well as encouraging people to shop locally and reduce their carbon footprint.

Advertising their ‘loyal to local’ messaging, Hebden Bridge Business Forum has looked to support local businesses. Using their website to support local trade, feature ‘what’s on’ events and show a gallery of pictures, Hebden Bridge Business Forum has worked to increase footfall. Promoting local online shopping throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with a ‘Totally Locally’ pilot scheme, blogs, competitions and the use of social platforms has also seen a growth in home delivery services, as well as click and collect.

The voluntary team at the Hebden Bridge Business Forum have worked to successfully increase footfall and help local businesses to get support from the community, boosting the local economy.


CuparNow is the UK’s and Scotland’s only Digital Improvement District. Created in December 2019, the project came into its own as lockdown was announced. While many towns struggled to adapt to the requirements of shifting to digital, CuparNow was able to leverage their creation to provide unparalleled levels of support for all businesses and organisations in the community.

With the ability to redirect resource, time and investment to offer daily support, CuparNow were also able to distribute key information across the community. Using their blog to publish regular updates on lockdown-related information, CuparNow also used social media channels to create, publish and share content from the town’s businesses and organisations, supporting those impacted by restrictions while engaging their audience. Their free public realm Wi-Fi in the town centre enabled data capture which resulted in CuparNow being able to provide much-needed information on grant support, lockdown loan schemes, consultations over access and even graphics to help businesses manage social distancing. They also worked hard to showcase their #ShopLocal message, which has captured the attention and hearts of locals.

CuparNow’s digital improvement district has seen its content reach people in more than 800 cities across 80 countries, with Facebook reach alone exceeding 1,000,000 in 2020; a highly impressive feat for a town with a population of around 10,000.

For more information on the Good Retail Awards, click here.