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Frome in the running for UK’s best town

FROME has been voted one of the three best towns in the UK, after making it to the final of a ‘Great Town’ competition being held by The Academy of Urbanism.

The ‘Great Town’ award is one of a series of awards given by the Academy of Urbanism – an institute dedicated to celebrating town centres and urban environments.

Frome was announced as a top ten finalist earlier in June, and now has made it into the top three and will be competing for the title against Margate in Kent and Halifax in Yorkshire.

Frome was nominated for the award due to its long-lasting regeneration efforts led by independent traders and its active town council, as well as the success of the Piggeries housing scheme – a development of affordable homes between Castle Street and Catherine Street which blended modern architecture with historic buildings.

Independent town councillor and ex-mayor Pippa Goldfinger said, “It’s a big deal that Frome has been shortlisted for the Great Town award by the Academy of Urbanism; it’s something Frome should be justly proud of.

“The Piggeries housing scheme, built in the ‘90s, gets a special mention for the way it successfully integrated new housing into a hilly and historic setting in a thoughtful way. It serves as a good example to current developers who too often offer a standardised design.

“Let’s hope this focus on Frome will encourage better quality architecture for the town.”

Stephen Gallagher, deputy director at the Academy of Urbanism said, “We’re really looking forward to visiting Frome later this year to find out what makes it a great place to live and work in. Our ultimate aim is to learn what the town is doing well and to share this with other places.”

Judges will visit each town later in the summer to meet key local business owners, citizens and council representatives to hear more about the town’s progress over the past few decades.

The award is one of five given out annually by the Academy of Urbanism to recognise the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments. Voted on by its members, who include leading architects, planners and developers, the award looks to recognise a number of social, economic and environmental factors, including good governance and commercial success.

Other awards given include the ‘Great Place’, ‘Great Street’, ‘Great Neighbourhood’, and ‘European City of the Year’. The only previous winner from Somerset is Bridge Street/North Street in Taunton, which won the Great Street award last year.

The Academy of Urbanism brings together thinkers and practitioners involved in the development of villages, towns and cities across Great Britain and Ireland.

They aim to recognise, promote and learn from great places.  For more information visit