High street Minister Penny Mordaunt heaped praise on Belper’s transition to the hotspot for trade saying it had ‘set a precedent’.
The visiting politician said the town had shown a real sense of community spirit and gone “above and beyond” to become a tourist haven, following its win in the Best British High Street 2014 competition.
The minister visited the town on Thursday, January 15, and popped into award winning deli and eaterie Fresh Basil on Strutt Street.
She said: “Although I was not one of the judges on the panel for the best high street and market town competition, I read the reports and the momentum and public involvement really stood out to me.
“Belper did a number of things - they worked with local transport providers to brand buses, they did a lot of replanting and worked with a huge range of local traders.
“Also MP Pauline Latham is always raving about how brilliant the town is and their local traders and community spirit – the town has a brilliant reputation.
“It is really wonderful to now be stood in the town and be able to experience for myself what I have read and heard so much about in the past months. There is a real spotlight on Belper and the town should use this to their advantage. With such success last year, it would be good to see advice being traded between towns .
“Belper is not just ashining example of how a town can grow and develop, but technically the best example, which was made official by the town being crowned as the best market town and best British high street.
“Belper has set a precedent and I expect to see great things in the future for this town.”
Back in November the town was crowned the best high street and market town in the UK, with judges saying it was an example of how town centres can be transformed.
The judges said they felt Belper made an “outstanding application” and is an “exemplar in how areas can transform themselves to a go-to destination.”