Castlegate & Wellington Square shopping centres in the heart of Stockton-on-Tees launched a community literacy project, “Stockton Stories”  in 2021 and the initiative has received yet another award for excellence, making it a hat-trick of awards!

The latest recognition is from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Maxi Global Awards, which are the most recognised accolades in the Marketplaces Industry.  The awards honour excellence in creativity and innovation within the retail industry and are open to entries from across the world.

‘Stockton Stories’ received a Gold Award in the Community category at the award ceremony held in Las Vegas on Monday 23rd May 2022.  There were 12 finalists and ‘Stockton Stories’ was the only entrant to receive a Gold Award.

Throughout the evening there were over 70 finalists from around the world across 7 categories and the pair of Stockton shopping centres were the only shopping destinations in the UK to win an award.

Matt Boxall, Centre Manager at the two shopping centres, said “We are absolutely thrilled to have received this award as recognition for the hard work that the team have put into making Stockton Stories a success, I am really proud that little old Stockton has now got global recognition.”

‘Stockton Stories’ launched in April 2021 and partnered with eight local schools to create a book that is a record of what the Coronavirus pandemic has been like for children in the Teesside community.  The book has then gone on to be sold to raise money for Bookmark the reading charity to help children in Stockton improve their literacy skills.

Last year the initiative was awarded two other industry awards, the Sceptre Award for Community Initiative of the Year and the Not-for-profit Campaign of the Year at the North-East Marketing Awards.

“When I first decided that I wanted to create a book as a record of what the coronavirus pandemic has been like for children in the Teesside community I never imagined that it would be known across the world.  There are copies of the book available in libraries in Australia and Italy too, which I just think is amazing.

“I can’t wait to tell the authors of the stories that we have won another award! ” said Chantal Taylor, Marketing Manager at the Stockton shopping centres.

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.

Nigel Cooke, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Housing at the Council, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic news that this brilliant campaign has received global recognition and I would like to send a huge congratulations to the team who have made this possible. Stockton Stories is a true example of how a town can work together to support each other through shared experiences, as well as raising hundreds of pounds for a very worthy cause.”

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

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