TAUNTON Deane's MP has praised local shops across her constituency in her first High Street Awards.

Rebecca Pow held the awards to highlight the wealth of independent retailers in Taunton and Wellington and to encourage support for them in the drive to keep high streets alive and kicking.

Businesses were nominated by customers and they voted on line for their favourites local businesses in seven categories.

Ms Pow said: "This was the first time I have run these awards and I was delighted so many people engaged by voting online which demonstrates the popularity of our range of independent businesses in the area and how much the individuality and the personal service they give is appreciated.

"Well done to every business that was nominated initially and congratulations to all the winners.

"These are the kind of businesses that are helping to keep our high streets vibrant and giving a unique flavour to the area.

"I certainly did some Christmas shopping as I went around presenting the certificates, there are so great stores and services in both Wellington and Taunton and I would urge people to try and support them too."

The winners were:


The Sporting Duchess (fashion retailer)

The Emporium (homeware retailer)

Tim Potter Family Butcher (food retailer)

The Mount (health & beauty)

Paws and Claws (service provider)


The Bank, (public house/cocktail bar)

Mr Miles, (restaurant/café)

Cato Cooper, Co-owner of The Emporium Somerset on Mantle Street, Wellington, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to have won this award for Best Independent Homewares Retailer and it is even more special as we were voted for by the general public.

“We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who voted and to MP, Rebecca Pow, for organising the awards and being as passionate as we are about supporting small businesses and our thriving high streets. It is so incredibly important that awareness is raised about the fantastic, local businesses that are out there.

“In a happy coincidence to this award win, we have also recently launched our own Shop Somerset campaign and are encouraging people to think Somerset when it comes to buying their Christmas presents this year. Seventy percent of the items under our roof are made in the area, so it would be great if people opted to buy products from artisans and craftspeople like these in favour of big multinational companies. There aren’t just wonderful local, small businesses here under our roof, we have them across the area and we want to big-up everyone and hope awards like these draw attention to our town as a whole.”