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Helmsley in Business shortlisted for prestigious Community Award

Helmsley in Business has been shortlisted for the ‘Best Community Group’ category of North Yorkshire County Council’s annual Community Awards.

The category was created in order to honour the excellent work that many local groups do for their communities and the wider Yorkshire region. Those shortlisted have made a positive and continued impact in their community and on the lives of local residents. Helmsley in Business (HiB) succeeded amongst fierce competition to win a place on the shortlist, which has now been narrowed down to only four groups, from 31 nominees.

HiB was formed in 2012 following an idea from two local businesses, who wanted to get businesspeople in the town working together to support and promote each other, to help ensure the town didn’t go the same way as many struggling high streets. In the past four years the organisation has gone from strength to strength with the group now boasting a remarkable 60 members.

A new website and busy social media feeds have been established, along with new marketing literature and town signage, to improve communication. The group regularly puts on popular and diverse events for both visitors and residents, such as a Christmas event to mark the annual Small Business Saturday. At the end of 2015 the group claimed Helmsley the accolade of being Britain’s Best Market Town at the Great British High Street Awards.

Whilst supporting each other within the group, HiB also works hard to maintain an integrated and collaborative community of businesses, residents, public sector and community groups – strengthened by working together. Projects such as coordinated planting, decorating, rubbish clearing initiatives, Christmas lights, signage and fundraising have had a huge impact on local residents.

Carolyn Frank, chair of Helmsley in Business and owner of Libby Butler Jewellers, said: “We work incredibly hard within Helmsley in Business to maintain our beautiful town whilst also creating opportunities for growth. The committee all have their own businesses to run, but we put a lot of time into the group and finding new ways to help or improve our wonderful town, and we are so proud of what we have achieved so far. Being shortlisted for this award means a great deal to us and we hope it may encourage other businesses in the town to join us, and for other local towns to do what we have done. It’s incredible to be acknowledged in this way and we all have our fingers crossed for a win!”

The winners and runners up for each category will be awarded at the North Yorkshire Wider Partnership Conference on 21 October 2016.