Bridges Host Exlusive Fashion Skills Shop

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Sunderland's first retail training academy will be open to the public for three days this week at the Bridges (Thursday 25th- Saturday 27th).


The National Skills Academy for Retail event will take place in Central Square at the Bridges, and will be transformed into a 'virtual' skills shop to provide customers with the chance to discover more about the fashion and retail industry.


Phillip Steele, Bridges centre director, says: 'This is a great event for people of all ages interested in the fashion and retail industry across the region to take those first steps towards fulfilling their dream career.


'The retail skills shop offers the perfect opportunity to learn more about the path to take to enter the industry and leading retail experts are on hand to provide individuals with exclusive advice and support to help them make the right career choice.'


Across the three days, Jigsaw Training will be on hand to provide local residents with advice and detail what learning opportunities are available to them within the industry.


In addition, volunteers from ESPA College, City of Sunderland College, Business Link, National Skills Academy and some of the centre's retailers will be on hand to provide further support and encouragement.


Fashion-forward youngsters will also be invited to put their sense of style to the test by dressing real-life models in a contest to discover which local resident can really 'dress to impress'.


A judging panel of top fashion retailers will cast their expert eye on which entrant has what it takes to top the style stakes and be crowned Sunderland's ultimate fashionista.


Each entrant will be in with a chance of scooping Bridges and Matalan vouchers to spend on their very own 'dress to impress' outfit; along with Thornton's chocolate just in time for Easter.


- Ends-

Notes to Editors


National Skills Academy for Retail


The National Skills Academy for Retail delivers skills solutions for retailers across the UK through a network of retail skills shops. These retail skills shops:

  • Provide access to world-class skills and business support for retailers whatever their size, wherever they are located
  • Lead the drive for professional, rewarding careers and skills development for everyone who works in retail
  • Create a consistent national approach for training and skills in the UK's largest private sector employer
  • Attract talented people into the sector


The Bridges

  • The Bridges provides 515,000 sq ft (47,845 sq m) of retail space in the heart of Sunderland
  • Over 100 retailers including Debenhams, Tesco, Boots, Next, HMV, H&M, River Island, Monsoon and New Look
  • It attracts more than20 million visitors each year, with a combined catchment of 663,000 people
  • The Bridges has excellent public transport links and 940 parking spaces attached to the centre


Land Securities Group PLC

  • Land Securities is the UK's leading Real Estate Investment Trust with a national portfolio of commercial property. Our investment portfolio also has more than 50 retail parks and shopping centres including Bristol's Cabot Circus and Exeter's quadruple award-winning Princesshay site.
  • Land Securities' multi billion pound development programme is transforming regional city centres including Cardiff and Leeds, key Central London sites and delivering long-term, large-scale regeneration projects in the South East.
  • Half of the Land Securities' portfolio is in London, where it owns landmark buildings such as the Piccadilly Lights and Westminster City Hall, and is developing some of the capital's most innovative mixed-use schemes, such as One New Change in Mid-town and Park House on Oxford Street.