A COMBINED bookshop, café, deli and homeware shop in St Boswells is in the running to become Britain’s Best Small Shop of 2018.

The Mainstreet Trading Company, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, is one of 25 independent retailers from across the country named on the prestigious shortlist.

Over the years, innovations introduced by the business include the ‘A Year of Books’ subscription service, Book Burrows for children and the Love Your Indie book loyalty card.

Rosamund de la Hey, co-owner of Mainstreet, told us: "We are always looking for ways to engage with the local community.

"Whether that’s through our Bookshop Van, which aims to ensure every child in the Borders meets an author through Mainstreet during their school life; through our Summer Reading Diary where children review up to six books with the winners receiving their height in books or our noticeboard to publicise local arts events.”

The Best Small Shops competition, which is managed by the Independent Retailers Confederation sponsored by loyalty app booost, celebrates the commitment and creativity of independent retailers on the UK’s High Streets and the central role they play in their local communities.

Mark Walmsley, chairman of the Independent Retailers Confederation, added: "Despite all of the bad headlines and the high-profile closures of larger stores, we firmly believe that specialist independent retailers can thrive in this climate by delivering a truly unique retail experience.

“The Best Small Shops competition enables us celebrate this unique industry, the passion, service, flexibility and knowledge of independent shop owners offer and show customers what makes independent retailers so special.”

The winner of Britain’s Best Small Shop will be announced at an event at the Houses of Parliament on November 13.