A cracking idea

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THEY always knew it was a cracking idea - and now it’s official!

Wigan’s Christmas Cracker – the town’s festive programme of events has won a national marketing award.

The 2011 campaign won a Purple Apple Merit Award at the British Council of Shopping Centres ceremony which was held in London.

The BCSC Purple Apple awards are the only awards which recognize and reward effective shopping and town centre marketing within the UK retail sector.

They acknowledge high standards and reassure the marketing is effective and excellent value for money. The award in the events category consisted of the town’s two main free Christmas events: the light switch on event and the Santa and reindeer parade which together generated over £250,000 worth of PR coverage.

Wigan’s Christmas Cracker was up against stiff competition from other towns and shopping centres across the UK, but scooped the prestigious award which was presented by former England and Orrell rugby union player Austin Healey.

Wigan’s Christmas Cracker is a jointly funded initiative between The Galleries, Grand Arcade and Wigan Town Centre Management.

Richard Paxton, Centre Director of The Galleries said: “We are delighted that our town events have achieved this award. The free Christmas events we provide are hugely popular with the people of Wigan.”

John Sanson, Centre Manager of the Grand Arcade, added: “The 2011 Christmas events provided Wigan with a Christmas spectacular which has been recognised and rewarded with this fabulous national marketing award!”

Mike Matthews, Wigan Town Centre Manager said: “The town’s 2011 Christmas light switch on event attracted thousands.”

The judges said the Wigan entry was “a true example of partnership working with a limited resource. It is good to see partnership collaboration between centres to maximise upon budgets and drive footfall in a coordinated manner, which also results in positive PR benefits.

“It was great to see a town centre collaboration where pulling the resources of three organisations to create a far better experience than any of them would have achieved alone!”