Staff and tenants at Shrewsbury’s Darwin and Pride Hill shopping centres have been celebrating after the centres won the ‘Business Award’ in the Mayor of Shrewsbury’s annual awards for 2020 – recognising the contribution the centres made to the economy of the town last year.
In 2019 the centres together achieved an annual footfall of 8,203,512 visitors – and introduced a number of new businesses to the town to enhance Shrewsbury’s shopping offer. These include JD Sports, Meg Hawkins, Teresa’s Boutique, Green Options and Skechers.
The centres also held 36 days of events and 49 days of skills workshops to support businesses both inside the centres and within the wider Shrewsbury community – from mid-week creative make and take sessions for adults, through to superhero fun for the whole family during key holiday periods.
As well as workshops aimed at customers, there were events aimed at professionals and small businesses themselves. These have included the opportunity to learn about social media marketing, photography of products on a budget and how best to engage with their following online to improve their own marketing.
Kevin Lockwood, Shrewsbury shopping centres manager, said:
“We’re delighted to win this award. It’s great news for the shopping centre staff, and to all of our tenants, though it wouldn’t have been possible without our brilliant customers and visitors, so a big thank you goes to them.
“We’re constantly looking at ways to make shopping in Shrewsbury more appealing, convenient, accessible and enjoyable. As a result, in February 2020 we became ‘dog friendly’, making the centres more accessible to both the local community and the domestic tourist market.
“2020 has been a very different and much more challenging year for the centres but we’re very much open and have worked hard to ensure that the centres are welcoming and safe for visitors.
“And next month we will be opening new modern accessible toilet facilities in the Darwin Centre including a relaxing family room to make feeding and changing babies and children easier, a state-of-the-art Changing Places Facility and completely modernised toilets.”
Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for assets, economic growth and regeneration, said:
“This award is brilliant news for the shopping centres, recognising the wide range of events and activities carried out at the centre last year, the new tenants that have opened, and the important contribution that the centres made – and continue to make – to the economy of Shrewsbury and Shropshire.”
Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Phil Gillam, added:
“I am delighted that Shrewsbury Shopping Centres are worthy winners of the Business category trophy in the annual Mayor of Shrewsbury awards. Providing both a key business for the town centre and a major visitor destination, we look forward to future developments to ensure that the shopping centres remain at the heart of the town centre.”
Branded as Shrewsbury Shopping the shopping centre also heavily support town-wide events provided by Shrewsbury BID (including the Christmas lights switch-on) via social media, website, e-newsletters, advertising and PR.
The Mayor’s Business Award acknowledges the work of businesses, organisations and individuals who have contributed to the economy of the town, be it through providing job opportunities, business expansion or general promotion and marketing of the town.
This year’s award winners were announced on 16 September 2020.