Staff at The Parkway Shopping Centre in Coulby Newham have been celebrating after winning the Heart of The Community Award (Teesside area), at the prestigious North East Business Awards, which took place on 28th March at Teesside University.


The awards recognise businesses in twelve different categories, who can demonstrate their success and meet a number of criteria set by the judges.


The centre won the award for their tireless charity work and popular community initiatives, which include a free community bus and monthly litter pick, around the Hemlington Lake area.


Since 2018 the popular centre has helped raise over £20,000 for local charities, in a number of different ways. From letting free space in the centre, to having retailers compete in an It’s-a-Knockout themed day, the centre has managed to keep its charity fund raising varied and fun.


Now into its second year, the community bus provides essential transportation, twice a week from surrounding villages to the centre. The bus, which is subsidised by the Parkway Centre and free of charge for shoppers, offers an essential service giving some people the only chance to get out to shop and socialise, after many of the routes were taken off by the local authority.


The Monthly Hemlington Litter pick was launched in 2018 to address the demise of the local area with littering and its detrimental effect on wild life. Working in partnership with a number of organisations and members of the public, the centre coordinated a monthly event, which has seen both an improvement in the cleanliness of the area and a returning sense of pride within the local community.


Zoe France, Centre Manger explains: “We are absolutely over the moon with receiving this award. This was a real team effort and we know how much the things we are involved in mean to all our shoppers. We have always received great feedback from people, but we are truly honoured to have our work in and with our local community recognised by the North East Business Awards”.


The centre will now be put forward to the Grand Final on the 16th May, which will see all the winners from the three geographic areas; Teesside, Northumberland & Tyneside and Durham Sunderland & South Tyneside, attending a glittering event at Hardwick Hall, to see who will be crowned the overall winner of each category.