A SHOPPING centre has been shortlisted for a top European award for its celebration of Bolton’s cotton mill heritage.

Crompton Place Shopping Centre has made it through to the finals of the 2014 Solal Marketing Awards to be held in Amsterdam.

Judges on the awards board, who aim to recognise the best of retail marketing throughout Europe, have shortlisted Crompton Place’s Cotton Mill Mini Museum, which took place at the end of May last year.

At the two-day event, there were spinning wheel demonstrations, interactive demonstrations, treasure hunts and storytelling sessions by cotton mill characters.

The aim of the event, which also welcomed VIP guests and mill veterans Elfriede Lomax and Tom Winstanley who worked in the industry, was to transport families back in time and remind the townsfolk of a bygone era which shaped Bolton.

The news about the international award came as senior bosses at the retail hub, which welcomes more than four million visitors a year, also found out the same community project had also been nominated for a Purple Apple award.

The UK Purple Apple awards recognise and reward effective shopping centre marketing.

Malcolm Angus, Crompton Place manager, said: “We are over the moon to be shortlisted not only for the Purple Apple award but for this prestigious European accolade, which is a fantastic coup for Crompton Place.

“When we set out to create the Cotton Mill Mini Museum, we wanted something which reflected the fact we are at the heart of Bolton and here to serve the people of the town who regularly shop with us and continue to support the businesses we have here.

“Our success in reaching the shortlist is not only down to our hard work but also down to the community who came and enjoyed the museum with their families and helped us make it such a huge success.

One of the guests at the event was 83-year-old Tom Winstanley who shared his personal memories of his long career as a specialised fitter who built, maintained and repaired the mighty machines which powered cotton’s boom years.

He said: “I thought the event was fascinating and I enjoyed being able to share my memories directly with Bolton people. A lot of people seemed really interested which was nice.

“I thought it was a very positive event for the town and I am pleased to hear it might get an award.”