Celebrating Manchester’s High Street Heroes


High Street Heroes, a national campaign to find the best of the independent high street has today revealed Greater Manchester’s winning businesses.

Organised by SME Insurance Services (smei), the campaign sought to recognise the businesses at the vanguard of a burgeoning high street revival that saw the number of independent outlets rise in every region of England during 2017, growth that is predicted to continue until at least 2023.

The winners in Greater Manchester are:

Flourish (Manchester) a high street florist with a difference. Its open store front on Tib Street in Manchester city centre bursts with colour and adds real interest to the high street. The sheer array of flowers and houseplants – from old favourites to more unusual options – draws a steady stream of loyal customers. The secret to owner, Anthony Cox is disarmingly simple: “It’s pretty simple really. You have to do the 1% that no-one else is doing if want to stand out.” To read Anthony’s story visit http://tinyurl.com/y5tb6gfv

The Beauty Guru (Salford)a fast-growing salon in Salford’s Media City, with a small army of loyal regulars. The secret to owner, Sam Marshall’s success is simple: “Everyone should do what they really love. If you don’t love it then you won’t do an amazing job. For us we like to offer what we each individually specialise in rather than being “jacks of all trades.” To read Sam’s story visit http://tinyurl.com/y6y8mhz9

Joules Hair Design (Prestwich) a local favourite and stalwart of the Prestwich high street for more than 25 years. Owner Julie Campbell is clear about what it takes to succeed: “You have to be a people person. There’s so much more to it than making people look and feel great when they walk out of the door. People want to feel welcome in a friendly environment. That’s the key to repeat business and to long term success.” To read Julie’s story visit http://tinyurl.com/y6y7fdjk

Framed Opticians (Manchester) – an independent high street optician that stands out from the big chains thanks to friendly, professional service and a range of frames that extends from the luxury brands to innovative, independents. Co-owner Richard Peck summed it up: “We’ve worked hard to create a friendly environment so people actually want to come back and see us. Patients could buy a Prada frame at any number of places, but choose to buy from us because they like the information and advice we give them.”

Christine’s Beauty (Prestwich) a wonderful nail bar where owner and expert nail technician Christine delights a steady flow of regular customers every time they visit.

Congratulating all the winners, Kate Aston, head of smei, commented:

“We’re delighted to give these small businesses the recognition they deserve. It has been great to get to know the characters and hear the stories behind some of the nation’s independent businesses. There is so much talent and passion behind these unsung heroes of Manchester’s high streets, which has made choosing these few winners all the more difficult.

“High streets across the UK have endured tough times over the decade, but that is starting to change, and it’s the independents leading the way. It’s easy to just think of trendy areas like the Northern Quarter, Ancoats, and Chorlton, but the resurgence of the high street is happening in pockets all over the region. These wonderful businesses drawn from across Greater Manchester, are perfect examples of new life being breathed into once struggling high streets.”