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Stars to shine at this year’s Christmas Lights Switch On

The countdown to Christmas is officially on – as The Rock shopping centre announces the date and line-up for this year’s big switch on event.

The shopping and leisure destination is promising a star line-up and star prizes to mark the first year of its brand new ‘Starry Night’ themed decorations.

The ‘Be a Rock Star’ Christmas Lights Switch On will take place on Thursday 7th November where  Sid Sloane from CBeebies’ and Manchester musician Max George will take to the stage for the event.

This year will see a brand new decorations installation at the centre, all following a star theme with a stunning display of light promising to get us all in the Christmas spirit.

The event, hosted by The Rock and Hits Radio, will run from 5:00pm until 7:00pm and will also feature groups from the Carol Godby Theatre Workshop and of course an appearance from Santa himself.

Sid Sloane is best known for presenting to pre-schoolers and parents nationwide on the CBeebies channel. He has been with CBeebies since its inception in 2002 and is the channel’s only original presenter. Sid loves to perform live and is well known for his show ‘Let’s Play’.

Max George was part of the boyband The Wanted, whose hits include ‘All Time Low’.  Last year Max released his first solo single ‘Barcelona’. The song has more than seven million streams. On May 24, 2019 he released his second single ‘Better On Me’.

On the night there’s some star prizes up for grabs, in the centre’s Be a Rock Star competition.

Visitors are encouraged to arrive early for the event and find the Hits Radio street team to find out how to enter the competition.

They need to bring their mobile phone – it’s key to being able to enter AND must stick around the duration of the event.

There’ll be tickets up for grabs for Hits Radio Live which takes place on 17th November and features some of the biggest names in pop – plus there’ll be a star studded £500 spending spree prize  for the main winner, the perfect way to kick off the festive season.

The switch on event is free to attend and marks the beginning of the Christmas season for The Rock. The centre’s Santa’s Grotto will officially open on Saturday 23rd November following the Santa’s Arrival parade in the morning and The Rock Express will return in December to transport festive shoppers around the town until the end of the month.

The Rock’s centre director, Arnold Wilcox-Wood, said: “The Rock’s Christmas Lights Switch On is one of the centre’s and the town’s biggest events of the year and this year will be no exception. We’re pulling out all the stops to make sure this event gets everyone in the festive spirit. With new Christmas decorations, a star line up and star prizes, we’re all looking forward to a great night and we can’t wait to welcome you all.”


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Ticketless parking system

Our new state-of-the art, ticketless parking system is now live.

It is completely ticketless and based on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), it will be operated by REEF Parking.

The new system intends to provide a much better customer experience, enabling additional ways of payment. Customers can pay at the pay stations, through their mobile or sign up for AutoPay and just drive in and out, without the need to visit the pay stations.

With the ANPR system, vehicle number plates will be captured on the way in to the car park. At the end of a customer’s visit, when they enter their number plate at the pay machine the cost for parking will be displayed, based on the time they entered the car park. Once paid, visitors will make their way to the barrier as normal and the barrier will raise automatically.

All parking tariffs will remain the same and customer service teams will be on the ground to help and support customers entering the car park and at the pay stations whilst this new system is launched.

The key thing for the customer, is to remember their vehicle registration as this is needed at the pay machines. We will have plenty of signs on display to explain the process and to remind our visitors about the need to remember their vehicle registration.

For FAQs click here

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Get ready for autumn with fashion showcase

Shoppers visiting The Rock might get a surprise  when the mannequins in shop windows are replaced with models.

The two-day ‘Fashion Through The Glass’ event will take place on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September and models will showcase all the latest autumn looks.

It’s the first time the centre has held an event of this nature, but they wanted to do something different to showcase the newest collections and inspire shoppers who are updating their wardrobes ready for the autumn and winter months.

The showcases will take place between 11am and 4pm each day with multiples retailers taking part in the event.

Arnold Wilcox-Wood, centre director of The Rock, said: “We’re always thinking of new ways to engage with our shoppers and support our retailers and this is the perfect event to do both. We’re working with Catwalk Events, the same company we use for our summer fashion and beauty event, so we know we’ll be able to deliver a great event which will turn customers’ heads and encourage them to hit the shops.”


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Summer holidays rock at The Rock

Get up close with a dinosaurs, come face-to-face with a dragon and step into space this summer…. In Bury!

We have got a host of fun, free educational and experiential activities planned on Saturdays during August – and there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained!

We have teamed up with Tower FM to host a packed summer calendar of events where there’s something for dinosaur, dragon and space-lovers!

The fun kicks off on Saturday 3rd August where visitors can step into a huge Space Dome and enjoy interactive journeys around the solar system.

This free activity will run on a first come first served basis. Show times are 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm.

On Saturday 10th August there’s a chance to come face to face with a Triceratops. This huge dinosaur will stomp through the centre. Plus children can enjoy interactive adventure time. Show times are at: 11:30am, 1:30pm and 3pm.  PLUS see baby dinosaurs at 12:30pm and 2:20pm. 

The following Saturday, 17th August, there’s more dinosaur-themed fun with the chance to see Spinosaurus at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm.
PLUS see baby dinosaurs at 12:30pm and 2:30pm. 

On Saturday 24th August end the summer in style and come to see a dragon and enjoy the dragon egg trail. Show times are at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm.

Arnold Wilcox-Wood, centre director at The Rock, said: “We’re really looking forward to another packed summer of events here at The Rock and we can’t wait to see many families joining us for these free activities. Last summer was hugely popular, and we’re pulling out all the stops once again to make it a summer break to remember.”

Performance times are weather permitting and may vary on the day.

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The Rock unveils mascot designed by local schoolgirl

A creative schoolgirl has seen a mascot she designed brought to life after winning a competition hosted by The Rock.

Earlier this year we launched a competition to design its first ever mascot. The competition was open to local school children who had the chance to submit a mascot design.

The winning design ‘Rocky the Rhino’ was submitted by seven-year-old Chantelle Simbo from Whitefield, Bury and was chosen by the competition judges from more than 60 entries.

Now, after two months production, the mascot has finally be unveiled, and Chantelle, a pupil at Ribble Drive Community Primary School, was the first customer to see it.

Chantelle, who also won a £200 spending spree at The Rock, said she couldn’t sleep the night before the unveiling because she was so excited. When she saw Rocky she said: “I’m so excited. He looks exactly like my drawing.”

It was down to some good luck and a kind postal worker that Chantelle’s entry made it to The Rock after it was accidentally posted without a stamp.

Mum, Natalia, added: “I’m so proud of Chantelle. She’s very creative and she was so happy when I told her she’d won the competition. School have made a really big fuss of her and she’ll be sharing the prize with her sister, Jasmine.”

Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, added: “We were blown away by the entries to the competition but Rocky the Rhino was the favourite of all our team. We could see so much effort had gone into Chantelle’s design and we hope she is just as pleased as we are with the final product – it’s so very similar to her entry and we are thrilled with the finish result. Rocky the Rhino will be making appearances at The Rock on several occasions and we hope he brings a smile to our visitors’ faces.”


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Could your cause be The Rock’s charity of choice?

The Rock is on the hunt for a new partner charity.

We are looking for a local charity to partner with and support with fundraising events over the next 12 months.

Submissions opened on May 1st and will run until May 17th. To nominate a charity to be considered the nominator must work for or be heavily involved in the charity and have its permission to enter.

Since July 2018 we have worked with Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary and have raised over £3,000 through various fundraising events.

We’ve enjoyed a very successful partnership with Bleakholt – but the time has come to renew our charity partner.

Once the nominations are received a shortlist of three charities will be made by The Rock and an online vote will run for two weeks in June – the charity with the highest number of votes will become The Rock’s new partner charity.

The new charity will become The Rock’s charity of choice from July 2019 to June 2020.

Click here for more info and to apply.

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‘Reading Rocks’ fun in Bury this Easter weekend

Do your children love reading? Are they creative and imaginative?

Then there’s the perfect free event for them at The Rock, Bury, this Easter weekend – featuring children’s favourite The Gruffalo, plus a host of pirate-themed, Treasure Island fun.

The shopping centre is hosting a two day ‘Reading Rocks’ extravaganza on Good Friday (19th April) and Saturday 20th April.

Taking place in a large marquee in the heart of the shopping centre, there’ll be character appearances, a read and relax area and a creation station where children can make book marks and treasure maps.

Each day there will also be a Reading Rocks Quest taking place at the centre where visitors must find all the reading related images in the shop windows and complete an entry form for the chance to win an Easter prize, there will be prizes for the best fancy dress each day and goody bags for visitors .

On Friday 19th April, children can come and see the Gruffalo at 11am, 12pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm and 3:30pm.

On Saturday 20th April we’ll be joined by Jonny Depp lookalike Captain Jack for personal appearances at 11am, 1pm and 2:30pm. Plus there will be story time sessions at 12pm, 2pm and 3pm.Events will be held on a first come first served basis.

Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “We know finding ways to keep the children entertained can be difficult so that’s why we’re hosting these free events for our visitors  They promise to be both fun and educational.

“Once you’re here there’s plenty on offer for a full day out – we have a number of family-friendly restaurants and are home to a cinema and bowling alley. Plus there’s Easter chocolate for our visitors too. We look forward to welcoming you over the Easter weekend.”

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Mascot competition – Winner

It’s time to announce the winner of our Design The Rock’s Mascot Competition.

We’d like to say a big THANK YOU to every single person for participating! It has been a great pleasure receiving these mascot designs, they were all amazing with so much effort put into them.

🥁The winning design is ROCKY THE RHINO, designed by Chantelle Simbo🥁

Chantelle has won £200 in vouchers to spend at The Rock and her winning design will now be brought to life and will be making its first appearance in a few months time.

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Step into Bury podiatrist’s new clinic at The Rock

A Bury podiatrist has realised his dream of opening a private clinic in his home town – and aims to create five new jobs this year.

Bury Foot Clinic, owned and operated by Bury-born Andrew Mayo, has opened its doors at The Rock Shopping Centre, promising a ‘relaxed and modern environment’ offering customers ‘exceptional treatment and care’.

The new clinic is located on Rock Street, close to St John’s Gardens at The Rock and its services include routine foot care, diabetic foot assessments, biomechanical assessments, orthotics, nail surgery and more.

The new clinic is the third in Andrew’s portfolio. He has clinics in Lytham and Walkden but says he always wanted to return to Bury to open a practice.

Andrew, 32, worked for Bury NHS when he graduated from Salford University in 2007.

The former Tottington High School pupil said: “It feels great to be returning back to home soil. I’m looking forward to seeing all my regular patients from the area and meeting new patients.

“I’ve always wanted a private practice in Bury. The Rock gives us a fantastic opportunity to join big high street names and be a part of a very busy development.”

He added: “As with my other practices, we have always strived to bring foot care to the high street with a modern look and feel, making it more appealing to all generations.”

Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Andrew to The Rock and we feel that Bury Foot Clinic is a great addition to our offering. We wish Andrew every success.”

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Bridal boutique owner says ‘I do’ to opening at The Rock

A wedding dress shop owner who worked in a store at The Rock Shopping Centre when it first opened has gone full circle and opened her own boutique at the shopping destination.

Steph Davison, 28, has opened ‘Alice Ada Bridal’ at The Rock offering ‘a modern and relaxing environment’ for brides-to-be.

The new store is located on Rock Street, close to St John’s Gardens at the centre.

Steph studied Law at Leeds University and worked in Debenhams when the centre first opened in 2010. She said: “I wanted to open in Bury because it’s my home town, I worked on The Rock when it first opened and with Bury being one of the biggest shopping areas outside of Manchester city centre it made perfect sense.”

The former St Gabriel’s High School pupil has worked in the wedding industry for a number of years, including at a wedding dress shop and also as a wedding coordinator at a local venue.

Speaking about Alice Ada Bridal – which is named after both her grandmothers – Steph, said: “We offer a full experience at Alice Ada Bridal, we don’t just want our customers to buy a dress we want to give them the full wedding dress shopping experience and be able to help them with anything else wedding related they might need.

“We want our brides to have such a good time that they want to stay in touch and in the future they recommend us to other brides.”

Arnold Wilcox-Wood, Centre Director at The Rock, said: “Alice Ada Bridal is a great addition to The Rock and Bury town centre as a whole. We’re sure that brides visiting the store will enjoy a wonderful experience and we wish Steph every success in her new venture. We’re thrilled Steph decided to open here at The Rock having worked here almost nine years go.”

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