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Castlegate & Wellington Square shopping centres win prestigious Sceptre Award – Community Initiative of the Year


Dec 2, 2021

Castlegate & Wellington Square shopping centres, in Stockton-on-Tees, have received one of the retail real estate industry’s highest accolades – the Sceptre Award for Community Initiative of the Year.  The award is in recognition of the centre’s community literacy project, Stockton Stories that launched in April 2021.

More than 300 of the sector’s talent gathered for the ceremony on 23rd November at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel.  Castlegate & Wellington Square were one of seven community initiatives shortlisted for the award that recognises the best in class practices and people.  They beat off competition from varying community campaigns across shopping centres in the United Kingdom to be crowned the winners of the award.

The judges were impressed with the centres for engaging with the local children to promote literacy during such a difficult time and producing something everyone involved could be proud of.

Stockton Stories had two main purposes, the first to raise money for reading charity Bookmark to help children in Teesside with their reading skills and the second to create a record of what the coronavirus pandemic has been like for children in the Teesside community.

Matt Boxall, Centre Manager at the two shopping centres says:  “We are delighted that our Stockton Stories initiative has been recognised by the industry with this award for excellence. The local community is always at the forefront of what we do and this was no exception.”

Chantal Taylor, Marketing Manager for both schemes said: “This award recognises the fantastic community spirit in Stockton-on Tees, the book would not have been possible without the support from local schools and the wonderful children who told tales of their lockdown experiences and we would not have raised over £400 for Bookmark literacy charity if it had not been for the generosity of the local community. Our local community makes us very proud indeed, so we were exceptionally pleased to have won this prestigious award.”

The success of this community campaign is another positive for Wellington Square in Stockton, which is also experiencing a weekly footfall rate that is up 98 per cent week on week.

Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council purchased the Castlegate and Wellington Square shopping centres in 2019 as part of its ambitious plans to transform the Borough’s six town centres to ensure they are fit for the future.

Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Castlegate and Wellington Square has won this award and I’d like to congratulate the team who put this fantastic community-focused campaign together.

“Stockton Stories is a brilliant example of how a town can work together to support eachother through shared experiences, as well as raising hundreds of pounds for a very worthy cause.

“This award comes at a time when we are looking to a very bright future for Stockton town centre, with the local community being at very the heart of this.”

To find out more about Stockton Stories or to purchase a copy of the book visit www.castlegateshoppingcentre.com or www.wellingtonshops.co.uk

By admin