Grand Central has won two awards at the Property Council of Australia’s Queensland Retail Property of the Year Awards on Friday night.
Grand Central Centre Manager Kathleen Hart said she was delighted the centre had taken out the Community Engagement Award for Grand Central’s partnership with TAFE, and the Excellence in Marketing Award for their ‘Spring Festival’ campaign.
“It’s an honour to be recognised for our local partnership with TAFE, as it’s one we’re very proud of. It’s also wonderful to see our Spring Festival campaign recognised, which was all about engaging our community during last year’s Carnival of Flowers, which of course is a time of immense community pride for Toowoomba,” she said.
Ms Hart said Grand Central partnered with TAFE Queensland in 2016 to deliver subsidised retail and hospitality training to people in the Toowoomba region.
“Since that time, over 230 people have accessed the Grand Central subsidy, and of those around 140 have graduated so far, with others currently undertaking their studies,” she said.
“Grand Central has been operating in Toowoomba for over 20 years, and we see this partnership with TAFE as an opportunity to make a contribution to the future of Toowoomba. We’re excited to be investing in people from our local community to enhance local employment opportunities – whether that is at Grand Central, or at another retail or hospitality business in the region.”
Former Grand Central Centre Manager Shaine Beveridge with TAFE students John Poole and Georgia Glanville and Brent Kinnane from TAFE Queensland in Grand Central’s Retail Galleria while it was still under construction
Ms Hart said retail and hospitality students from TAFE also got the unique experience during the recent $500 million Grand Central redevelopment of being able to tour the site while it was under construction, and to gain valuable work experience in the exciting days leading up to the first two stage openings, helping retailers get their stores ready for opening.
In addition to this community initiative, Grand Central also run fully subsidised internal training sessions for centre staff with the assistance of TAFE Queensland.
Ms Hart said Grand Central’s Spring Festival campaign ran during September and October last year, and was designed to be an extension of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, including a series of events and activities that connected with the community.
“Giant hanging gardens were installed throughout the centre, and the oversized floral theme was extended to our float for the Grand Central Floral Parade, which was designed by local artist Joy Heylen,” she said.
“To engage families, children explored their senses in a ‘Sensory Spring Garden’ play space, and participated in Spring themed workshops. In addition, a range of Spring inspired workshops integrating fashion, beauty and homewares brought the community together around shared interests, and an outdoor cinema and live entertainment created ambience.”
Last year’s Spring Festival also introduced the community to Grand Central’s Digital Runway, which is located on Level 1 of the Retail Galleria and showcases the latest fashions.
“We’re regularly updating the content for our Digital Runway, so it’s a great way to get some inspiration for the latest looks – especially with Spring Polo and Diner en Blanc coming up so fast!”
The Property Council of Australia’s Retail Property of the Year Awards recognise and publicly reward exceptional retail properties and precincts in Queensland.
Grand Central is the region’s largest shopping centre.
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