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Vangarde Shopping Park caps off successful first year with family fun day

York’s newest shopping park capped off a successful year of trading after raising more than £420 for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).

Vangarde Shopping Park, which is situated next to Monks Cross Retail Park, held a family fun day to celebrate a year since it opened the city’s first John Lewis, the region’s largest Marks and Spencer and more, to eager shoppers.

To celebrate its first birthday, Vangarde held a family fun day attended by hundreds of families from across York and the surrounding region to raise money for NSPCC, one of its supported charities.

As well as fair games and competitions to raise money for the cause, the fun day included a visit from Frozen’s Anna and Elsa, samples and entertainment from different restaurants, a performance from a choir consisting entirely of John Lewis staff and even a huge cake, made by local business, YORK Cookery School. Over the day, Vangarde raised £421.26 for NSPCC.

Vangarde Shopping Park Centre Manager Deb O’Donnell said: “This year has been hugely successful for Vangarde Shopping Park, we’ve now been fully let for five months and we have seen waves of people come to the shopping park week in, week out.

“It does not feel long ago that we actually opened the park – and we have seen great levels of success not only for the shopping park, but for all stores as well, with good footfall figures and the stores we have here are very popular with everyone in the region.

“We want to continue growing on our success and continue to raise awareness about what we have here. We’re excited for the year ahead.”

Since it opened on April 10th 2014, Vangarde has seen overwhelming levels of shoppers from all over Yorkshire visit the shopping park for its range of high quality products and great dining outlets.

The shopping park has also been recognised for its hard work this year, including the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC) ACE Star Award shortlisting of one of its customer service team, John Entwistle, who ranked in the top 15 among UK BCSC shopping centres for his customer service. Even though he did not win that award, he helped Vangarde Shopping Park to scoop the BCSC ACE Centre Award in the Retail/Shopping Park category in March 2015.

YORK Cookery School’s owners, Fraser and Kate Clarkson, have been regular visitors to Vangarde since the shopping park opened.

The duo opened YORK cookery school at the end of 2012 and, after linking up with Vangarde Shopping Park, are looking to raise more awareness about their workshops and masterclasses over the next few months.

Fraser said: “We love coming to Vangarde on a regular basis, so when we were offered the opportunity to make a cake to celebrate its anniversary, we jumped at the opportunity to make their celebrations special.

“We will be looking to link up with Vangarde beyond the birthday and we are looking forward to seeing what we can do to work with them.

“The day helped us raise awareness about the Cookery School, which in turn helps us to encourage local people to get into cooking using high quality, seasonal produce.”