It was judgement day for St Albans city centre in a competition to find the United Kingdom’s best high street.

St Albans - one of 26 shortlisted high streets nominated for the Great British High Street Champion Award last month - was visited by judges last Wednesday.

The GBHS St Albans city centre shone amongst over 300 entries because of its community engagement.

Events include the St Albans Film Festival and Sustainable St Albans Week, which reaches more than 10,000 people.

Cllr Salih Gaygusuz, who is responsible for business and community for St Albans Council, said: “It is fantastic that St Albans has been shortlisted in the champion category of the Great British High Street Awards 2018.

“St Albans has a rich variety of good-quality shops on the high street, a buzzing food and drink scene and historic attractions, making it a great destination for shopping, sightseeing and socialising.

“Retail and other businesses in the centre of St Albans are all working together with the council and St Albans Business Improvement District on events and initiatives to boost the local economy and attract more visitors.”

Judges visiting the area on Wednesday based their assessment on four categories: community, customer experience, environment and digital transformation.

Sundeep Kaur, Head of UK & Ireland Merchant Services at Visa, said: “St Albans is a fantastic example of a high street which has made huge strides in transforming itself to offer a range of different experiences for locals and visitors alike.

Their scores will make up 70 percent of the final tally, with the remaining 30 percent coming from social media support.

Residents can vote for St Albans city centre once a day by using #GBHSStAlbans and #MYHIGHSTREET in a public post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Helen Burridge, St Albans Business Improvement district manager, said: “Our success in St Albans is due in large part to the vibrant community spirit. But to win this national award we now need everyone to vote daily. Help us make sure our city and its investment gets the recognition it deserves.”

She added: “The judging happened this Wednesday gone and now it’s all down to the public vote.”

Sue Wybrow, representing The Businesses Community, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to see that St Albans City Centre are finalists in the GB High Street Awards.

“High street shops are under so much pressure with so many online shops making shopping ‘at your fingertips’, that they have to work hard to give that extra customer experience to encourage people to visit them.”

The city centre could be eligible to win up to £10,000 for the local community, and the chance to be named the UK’s Best High Street.

The results will be announced next month.