Norwich in line for top shopping award

Kim BriscoeNorwich's reputation as a top UK shopping destination has been given a further boost after it was shortlisted for an award.Kim Briscoe

Norwich's reputation as a top UK shopping destination has been given a further boost after it was shortlisted for an award.

The city has been named alongside Bluewater in Kent, Bristol, Lakeside in Essex, Leeds, thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes and The Trafford Centre in Manchester in the Group Travel Awards.

The awards are voted for by the readers of Group Travel Organiser magazine and reflect a highly-valued endorsement from customers.

Tourist and retail bosses say simply being shortlisted for the award shows that the city is strengthening its place as a shopping destination.

Tourist body VisitNorwich has been championing the promotion of Norwich as a destination for retail coach excursions.

Over the past two years, the ShopNorwich marketing campaign, delivered by VisitNorwich and initiated and funded by Norwich City Centre Partnership, has included the production of a popular visitor shopping map and guide, a web campaign and a targeted pr and advertising campaign aimed at the group travel market.

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Clare Millar, head of VisitNorwich, said: 'In 2007 Norwich was shortlisted for the Most Group Friendly UK Destination, but to my knowledge we have never been shortlisted in this category before.

'With flagship stores of the biggest names in retail, an award-winning independent department store, two major shopping centres, the largest open-air market in the country, an eclectic mix of independent shops and boutiques that can all be easily explored on foot, it's no wonder groups love shopping in Norwich.'

Peter Mitchell, managing director of Jarrold Retail and chairman of Norwich City Centre Partnership, said the nomination was 'great news for the city'.

He said: 'Norwich's diverse retail offer is clearly very attractive to groups with its fantastic mix of independent retailers and major high street names. It is pleasing to see that Norwich is up there with other leading retail destinations like Lakeside, Bluewater, The Trafford Centre and Bristol.'

Sheridan Smith, marketing manager at Chapelfield shopping centre, said: 'We already know that people really enjoy coming here to shop but this will help to further strengthen our credentials as an ideal shopping destination for groups.'

Roger Pemberton, spokesman for The Lanes, said: 'Norwich is already recognised as one of the top 10 places to shop in the UK and to be short-listed for this award is testament to our ongoing commitment to providing visitors with a unique shopping experience.'

VisitNorwich's county partner, Norfolk Tourism, has also been shortlisted in the awards and is one of the finalists in the category of Best Online Information Service for its website

The winners will be announced on Friday, June 11.

For further information on the Norwich area, visit and for specific information on shopping visit

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email