Historic England has launched a major campaign to celebrate the rich and diverse history of Britain’s high streets, that aims help consumers rediscover local shops through celebrating the unique foods and the people, history and stories behind them that make local places special.
“Hi! Street Food Stories” has been devised and delivered by TMW Unlimited, with the first phase running across social to encourage people from across England to nominate their favourite high street eatery and the food story behind it.
Whether it is a building with an intriguing past, an owner with a story to tell, or a secret recipe passed down for generations, Hi! Street Food Stories aims to celebrate high streets across the nation and the diverse food and history that make them so special.
Members of the public will be able to nominate their favourite local high street eatery, and share the unique story about that place by liking and commenting on Historic England’s Instagram post, sharing the story and tagging the local eatery, culminating in a public vote.
This is part of Historic England’s ongoing work to protect and promote the nation’s historic high streets and encourage people to reconnect with them. Through this, Historic England wants to champion stories across England that connect people and place.
Historic England director of communications and public engagement Amy Pitts said: “We’re very proud to launch Hi! Street Food Stories, and to showcase England’s diverse food history and its connection with our historic high streets. We hope this campaign, working with TMW Unlimited, will spark connection and invite people back to enjoy their local high streets once more.”
TMW Unlimited CEO Chris Mellish added: “Like lots of people, we’re all pretty passionate about where we’re from, and just as passionate about food. It’s been a privilege to work with Historic England on a campaign that celebrates both, whilst championing the UK’s diversity.
“Hi! Street Food Stories is all about inspiring an emotional connection to local areas, and giving people the motivation and meaning to drive them to visit, which is the essence of what we’re all about. That, combined with the fact it fell into a sweet spot of our integrated capabilities meant that this was a fantastic brief to work on.”
The new campaign comes at a pivotal moment for many high street businesses. The ones which have survived the Covid pandemic are now facing the double whammy of soaring costs, including higher energy bills, as consumers cut back on their spending.
Meanwhile pubs – often the heartbeat of local high streets – are also facing hard times. The British Beer & Pub Association has this week warned that mass job losses are inevitable in the absence of help for an industry that employs 940,000 people.
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