Launch of Silverlink Point provides opportunity to celebrate retail training scheme success

Silverlink Point – The Crown Estate’s £30m extension to Silverlink Shopping Park - was officially opened by Alan Campbell MP and North Tyneside Elected Mayor Norma Redfearn, today, at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Park.

24 November 2016

The event also provided the chance to celebrate the success of the Get into Retail initiative; a retail skills training programme for local young people, delivered as part of the development. 

  • Local MP Alan Campbell cut the ribbon to officially open Silverlink Point which is home to Next Home, Hobbycraft and Sofology. 
  • North Tyneside Mayor Norma Redfearn handed certificates to the young people who successfully completed the Get into Retail scheme, which was funded by The Crown Estate as part of the development of Silverlink Point, and delivered by North Tyneside Council and Barnados. 
  • Get into Retail was designed as an introduction to the demands of a career in the retail industry and covered elements such as team work, customer service, sales, interview skills, health and safety, equality, diversity and problem solving in a retail environment.
  • The entrance to the new development is marked by a landmark piece of public art, commissioned by The Crown Estate with the involvement of North Tyneside Council, created by local artists Cate Watkinson and Colin Rennie.

Alan Campbell MP said: "Silverlink Point will enhance the fantastic contribution the park already makes in terms of supporting jobs and economic growth in North Tyneside. It’s also been wonderful to meet some of the Get into Retail students today. The initiative is a brilliant example of business working with local communities for the benefit of local people in North Tyneside.”

North Tyneside Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn said: “I was delighted to be invited to help open Silverlink Point. The exciting new development is brilliant news for the borough and has helped to bring further investment and jobs to the area.

“We’ve also been able to deliver some fantastic benefits for the local community as part of this project and in partnership with The Crown Estate, including the Get into Retail scheme. I’d like to congratulate all the young people and I am sure the skills they have learned through the course will help them in the future.

The development of Silverlink Point has allowed us to bring even more leading brands to Silverlink for shoppers to enjoy, and at the same time support the local economy by creating new jobs in construction and retail. ”

Samantha Ross, Senior Asset Manager at The Crown Estate

Samantha Ross from The Crown Estate said: “The development of Silverlink Point has allowed us to bring even more leading brands to Silverlink for shoppers to enjoy, and at the same time support the local economy by creating new jobs in construction and retail. I’m pleased that we’re also able to celebrate the success of all the students that participated in Get into Retail. The initiative really demonstrates the wider benefit that destinations like Silverlink can create, especially when there are strong partnerships between businesses like ours, communities and local councils.”

Cate Watkinson, who co-designed the new sculpture along with Colin Rennie, said: “When designing this sculpture we wanted to make sure it was a bold and interesting piece in order to make an impact on the surroundings, and the design means that this piece changes with the light which is a real spectacle to see. We’re sure this will make Silverlink Point an even more impressive destination for local people, and I’m delighted that installing this sculpture was so important to The Crown Estate. It was important to give back to the local community, and this is why we ensured local workers and suppliers were used including the metal workers as well as the structural and lighting engineers.”

In addition to Get into Retail, the redevelopment of the former Travelodge site to create Silverlink Point saw The Crown Estate work with North Tyneside Council to provide a construction skills training programme for young people. Both the Council and The Crown Estate also worked closely together to distribute all the furniture from the former hotel to North Tyneside residents in need of support.