CASTLEGATE SHOPPING Centre has listened to environmental public concerns regarding a planned 400 balloon launch.
Online environmental campaigners from across the globe contacted Castlegate Shopping Centre in an attempt to stop its balloon launch to celebrate the centre’s Ruby Anniversary tomorrow (Saturday July 20th).
The shopping centre based on Stockton High Street had planned to release 400 balloons into the air to celebrate their landmark 40th birthday.
As soon as they had announced its plans online over 50 campaigners from as far as Florida, USA launched a campaign via Facebook and Twitter to fight against the balloon launch from taking place.
The objection to the balloon launch from protesters whom have also targeted the local radio station and primary schools involved in the balloon launch is based on environmental issues.
Speaking about the online backlash Karen Eve, Castlegate Centre Manager said:
“As a local shopping centre we pride ourselves as being at the heart of our community and take these matters very seriously.
“We have listened to the campaigners and as a result we are much better informed on the damage a balloon launch can have on our environment and animals. Also how far helium filled balloons released into the sky can travel and where the pollution would land.”
She added: “Because of this we will not be going ahead with a balloon release and would like to thank the campaigners. We respect the fact we live in a global community and all have a responsibility to actively do our part to protect the environment wherever you live.
“In planning the balloon launch we were going to use balloons and tags which were bio-degradable taking into consideration the impact on the environment.”
The shopping centre’s landmark birthday comes at a time of great change in Stockton Town Centre, which is undergoing a £38million transformation.
Richard Poundford, Head of Regeneration and Economic Development at Stockton Council, said: “It is to Castlegate’s credit that they have listened to these public concerns and adjusted their plans accordingly so that they can celebrate their 40th birthday in style.
“Castlegate Shopping Centre is a tremendous asset to the High Street and for the last four decades it has generated employment opportunities for local people as well as additional footfall in Stockton Town Centre.
“We look forward to many more years of success at Castlegate Shopping Centre as it has a vital role to play in the town centre transformation, which is progressing well.”
Castlegate has been serving and greeting customers since it first opened its doors in 1973 and the shopping centre will continue with its big birthday party for the residents as planned just in the absence of a balloon release.
Shoppers can still come to the centre on Saturday where air-filled balloons will be handed out along with plenty of pictures, gifts, surprises and competitions for all.