The Stoke Sentinel reporting
Hometown Plus is doing great things for the local community.
York Place Shopping Centre, in Newcastle, has been struggling to retain business for around 10 years after it fell further and further into disrepair.
But now, having been commissioned by Riddell TPS, regeneration consultancy Hometown Plus has given the arcade a new lease of life.
The company is committed to social and economic regeneration – on an ambitious scale – and is demonstrating how an underused shopping centre can be re-conceived as a new destination for business and community development.
This is something which the company believes is crucial to the regeneration of the town as a whole – and the region.
Paul Bradbury, manager at Gamepad and a long-standing tenant at York Place, said: “I’ve seen first-hand the shopping centre’s steady decline over the years. Investment in new arcade flooring and lighting has given the place a real lift.
“I think that with the new arrival of Keele University students in the town centre, the re-development of the Ryecroft site, reinvigoration of Newcastle market and re-purposing the Guildhall, our town’s time could be coming again.”
Hometown Plus has also introduced its innovative ‘CounterCoin’ scheme in a further bid to revitalise the York Place Shopping Centre.
The token trading system will be used as the catalyst to inspire people to volunteer at community and charity events, in return for rewards. For every hour volunteered, that person will earn five CounterCoins with a total equivalent value of £5 worth of discounts – which can be spent at specific outlets within the town centre.
Rewards can be redeemed at places including milkshake shop Hippy Hippy Shake, Limelight Lanes Bowling Alley and Laser Quest.
Mike Riddell, director at Hometown Plus, said: “The intention is to get more people involved in their local community, and increase footfall at shops and businesses. In short, Hometown Plus are also hoping to make it the start of a ‘contribution revolution’ to eliminate waste.”
Hometown Plus has now entered The Sentinel Business Awards , in the Business in the Community category, sponsored by Synectics Solutions.
Mike explained how the company has ambitious plans for the future, with plans to develop its CointerCoin initiative further.
He added: “We’re now further developing existing relationships and building new connections with brands, employers and the education sector. This is in a bid to offer our volunteers a wider range of volunteering opportunities and a more diverse reward scheme; as well as bridging connections to Hanley.”