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M&S is supporting two fantastic initiatives which are helping regenerate High Streets up and down the country. 

The first is Business in The Community’s Healthy High Streets Programme. Launched in April 2014 in partnership with founding partners M&S, Boots UK, The Co-Operative Group and Santander, it brings corporate support to 100 high streets in the UK with the aim of improving footfall, reducing vacant units, creating jobs and helping to boost a sense of local pride.

As project lead for the programme I am delighted that 34 towns have been successful in applying for the programme in year two which increases the number of towns to 67 across the UK that are receiving tailored support in line with their specific needs. The Healthy High Streets Programme forms an important part of the wider M&S Plan A 2020 vision of being in touch with our local communities.

M&S is also pleased to support The Great British High Streets competition which is now open to local teams in England, Wales and Scotland. We recognise how important high streets are to our communities, and the competition provides a platform to showcase successful stories and share best practice, as well as the diversity of how different places service local needs. It’s also an opportunity to recognise the excellent efforts of town teams, the business community, local authorities, the charitable sector and volunteers as well as other key partners in achieving successful high streets.

The competition is looking for the best high streets across seven categories: 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 and best London High Street.

You can join the conversation on social media using #GBHighST,- The entry date has been extended to September 1st and  from mid-September you will have a chance to vote directly for your best-loved high street. The winning high streets will be announced in October 2015