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County Mall Manager receives ‘Centre Manager of the Year’ at national awards

The Centre Manager at County Mall in Crawley received an award for ‘Centre Manager of the Year’ at the 2018 SCEPTRE Awards.



'Centre Manager of the Year (large centre)' presented to County Mall's Mark Haynes by Koralie Gardener from Retail Report. (Image: JLD Media)

With County Mall’s 25th Anniversary and the opening of new stores including Hotel Chocolat, Paperchase and DFS, 2017 was an exciting year for Mark Haynes and the centre’s management team.

The team’s hard work culminated in a SCEPTRE Award for Mark as Centre Manager of the Year (Large Centre) at a recent industry event.

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The SCEPTRE Awards recognise the Best Practice and the Best People in the Shopping Centre industry, putting the spotlight on Management Teams, Retailers and Suppliers that demonstrate real excellence.

In his seven years as Centre Manager Mark has focussed on enhancing the customer experience and customer service at the Crawley shopping centre, which attracts 8 million visitors a year.

Working closely with the marketing team (who also won an industry award this year in recognition of their Strategic Marketing campaign for County Mall Shrunk the Shoppers last summer), Mark has worked to reposition the centre’s perception in key targeted locations and is an integral member of the town and community.

Centre Manager at County Mall, Mark Haynes.

Chairing the Town Centre Partnership and initiating the feasibility of a BID, Mark has an influential stance in Crawley and uses his position to raise the perception of the town in the surrounding areas.

Mark has also dedicated time to fundraising and community efforts including the opening of Crawley’s very first “Changing Places” facility, running 2 marathons in 2 weeks on behalf of St Catherine’s Hospice and facilitating multiple charity events in the centre, resulting in charity donations worth over £46k in the year.

Centre Manager Mark Haynes stated:

“I’m immensely proud to have won this award for County Mall, and am lucky to have a great team, without whom it wouldn’t have been possible.”


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It’s a Virgin panto…oh no it’s not!

Actually it’s the third year running that Virgin has put on a Christmas panto for charity, and this year it was worthy of the West End…or it that Southend?



Ah we jest!

It was a belly laughing, rip roaring, side splitting thirty minutes of hilarity all courtesy of the staff at Virgin.

Katie Squires as Virginia Atlantic and Luke Day as Buttons

Whilst many of the jokes were very much internal airline jokes they took nothing away from the enjoyment of the performance.

Don Langford as Ronald Flump and Nigel Offord as Bee A

Even senior management came onboard with an appearance as well from the CEO just before he retires.

CEO Craig Kreeger as Prince Charming

With all the usual motley crew you would imagine in a panto the Virgin ‘guys and gals’ certainly knew how to create a fabulous atmosphere.

Pat Dunning as Aira France and Teja Bains as KayLM

What better way could they have to raise money and give only the best entertainment you would expect from Virgin?

Jayne Roscoe as Fairy Godmother – Fairee Nuff

Alas though this isn’t a show you can get tickets for.  The only two performance played to packed audiences, but perhaps next year they can be persuaded to extend the run and maybe, just maybe allow some outsiders in?

For every company Christmas is a time when they like to show the festive spirit in different ways and this panto doesn’t just give laughs while raising money it shows that they actually think deeply about the culture and family that is Virgin.

(R-L) Lisa Redfern and Sally Williams

Lisa Redfern and Sally Williams who are both recruitment advisors at Virgin organised and wrote the panto.

They said:

“The panto came from the people team as an idea for charity.

It’s the third year now, the biggest fund raiser and it makes a lot of people laugh and brings them all together.

We did auditions the first year but now when we write the script we have people in mind for the parts and we are very lucky that people are willing to take part from the people team and some from the leadership.”

Justine Mercer as Ness/Daves Coaches

I’m not going to lie but if you ever needed a more convincing example of how much fun it is to work at this organisation then just take a good look through these photos.

Pat Dunning, Magen Gamble, Katie Squires and Teja Bains.

What better way could you start the final week before Christmas?

Well done to all!

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