NW shopping centres take Purple Apples

Manchester-based brand consultancy Studio North has won an award for its rebrand of Merseyway in Stockport at the British Council of Shopping Centres Purple Apple Awards.

Studio North won a merit in the category for best strategic or overall marketing campaign at this year's ceremony which took place on Thursday night at The Brewery in the City of London.

 I LOVE MCROther winners and merited work included Church Square in St Helens for community relations, I Love Manchester post-riot campaign by Marketing Manchester and the launch campaign for The Mall Blackburn. There were also prizes for the Lanes in Carlisle, the Trafford Centre, Manchester Arndale and Golden Square in Warrington.

View the full winners booklet here

This is the second accolade Studio North has won with Merseyway in as many months following success at the recent Transform Awards, Europe's only dedicated celebration of rebranding, brand transformation and reputational change.

Merseyway's managing agents GVA appointed Studio North in 2010. GVA commissioned Studio North for a full rebrand, which was followed by the launch of a new website, a series of targeted advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as bespoke social media initiatives, community associations and events.

In that time, several key achievements have been reached – in 2011 footfall hit the 10m mark thanks to an increase of 670,000 from 2010 and high-profile retailers including Primark, Virgin Media and Costa Coffee opened new units. Since the start of 2012 11 of the centre's national operators including Superdrug, chocolatier Thorntons, WH Smith and jewellers Beaverbrooks have renewed their leases. The centre is almost 100% fully let – there are currently only four unoccupied units out of its total of 104 and unique visitors to the Merseyway website have increased by 113%.

Simon Calderbank, client services director of Studio North, said: "The Purple Apple Awards are the benchmark for the shopping centre industry so winning is a great achievement. Our journey with Merseyway has been fantastic and winning this – along with the two at the Transform Awards – is the icing on the cake. Here's to an even more productive 2012 together!"

Jacqueline O'Shea, director of GVA, said: "Merseyway has been an integral part of Stockport and the surrounding area for years and its rebrand has made a real impact, which we're delighted about. At a very tough time for retail generally, Merseyway stands out as a centre undergoing an impressive revival. This is the second such award in a matter of months and is well-deserved recognition for all of the team involved in the centre, reflecting the shared vision and thinking between ourselves and Studio North."

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