Skipton High Street has beaten its London rivals to be crowned Great Street of the Year 2009 at a prestigious awards ceremony in Liverpool tonight.

The cobble-lined thoroughfare beat world-famous shopping hot-spots Kensington High Street and Portobello Road to the title which had been organised by the Academy of Urbanism Awards.

The awards promote “inspired urban design and creative space-shaping” and are seen as a chance for architects, developers and members of local authorities to honour design that promotes a sense of civic pride and quality of life.

The three finalists were picked from a short-list of 10 contestants at a nominations dinner at the Cutler’s Hall in Sheffield in May.

The top trio had already come through preliminary rounds and beaten such UK and Irish gems as Donegall Street, Belfast, High Street, Deal, High Street, Oxford, High Street, Rochester, High Street, Wells, Princes Street, Edinburgh and Royal Crescent, Bath.

Judges visited Skipton in August to make their final decision and were impressed by the street’s eclectic mix of historic architecture, modern-day bars and cafes and its market four days a week.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at the St George’s Hall, in Liverpool tonight.

The news will be a shot in the arm for residents and businesses who are teetering on the edge of a recession and worried about the future.

Winning the accolade will allow those associated with the town to use the Great Street of the Year 2009 logo on correspondence and websites and promote the district to the tourist trade.

  • Read the full story in Friday's Craven Herald