Shopping centre bids farewell to Richard

Richard Paxton pictured at his leaving 'do' with collegues and some of his many friends from Wigan town centre and beyond

Richard Paxton pictured at his leaving 'do' with collegues and some of his many friends from Wigan town centre and beyond

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COLLEAGUES threw a surprise party to mark a popular boss’s final days in charge of one of Wigan’s biggest shopping centres.

Richard Paxton received a warm send-off celebrating his six years at the helm of The Galleries ahead of his move to take up the role of centre director in his native Yorkshire.

He was congratulated on his pro-active approach to leading the shopping centre, including starring in countless memorable publicity photoshoots, and for his work in the town centre partnership putting on events such as the reindeer parade and Christmas lights’ switch-on.

During his time in the director’s seat he has seen an incredible 64 million shoppers visit the 90 high street and independent stores which make up the arcade, and will now be transferring his expertise to his new role running the Frenchgate shopping centre in his home town of Doncaster.

His work has also been recognised with two prestigious Purple Awards for marketing, one for The Galleries’ summer beach campaign and another for the town centre partnership’s festive celebrations at Christmas.

Mr Paxton said: “I’m really going to miss the people I’ve worked with at The Galleries, because they have really supported me, and it’s been a very difficult decision to leave. I’m never going to forget Wigan, it’s a very friendly community where people are so supportive of each other and there’s a real warmth around the town.

John Sanson, chairman of the town centre partnership, said: “Richard has really been the catalyst of what we’ve done in the town centre, putting on a series of great events. Organising things in these times can be quite difficult, but by working together we have done really well in Wigan, which is now being held up as a model for people to see.”