Cllr Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector at South Tyneside Council with local entrepreneur and Landlord of the Criterion Pub Chris Pickering

Local Entrepreneur Signs the South Tyneside Pledge for Three Businesses

A local entrepreneur has signed the South Tyneside Pledge for three of his businesses! 

Christopher Pickering, and partners, have owned the Criterion pub in South Shields town centre since 2018 and have redeveloped the landmark building into a popular pub and eatery. In 2021 they took the lease on for Garden Lane, an outdoor sport and music space which offers a unique outdoor dining experience and are looking forward to revealing their winter plans. 

Chris offers a range of further support across the borough through the social enterprise Our 1 Community that he founded in 2021, and has signed the South Tyneside Pledge on behalf of all three businesses.  

Local entrepreneur and Landlord of the Criterion Pub Chris Pickering with Cllr Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector at South Tyneside Council.
Local entrepreneur and Landlord of the Criterion Pub Chris Pickering with Cllr Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector at South Tyneside Council.

Chris is already committed to sourcing locally and predicts a local spend of £250,000 in 2024 for all businesses, whether this be local produce, youth workers, youth activities, entertainers or artists, and plans to use the Pledge network to increase local business partnerships. 

Earlier this year Chris kindly listed the Criterion Pub as a South Tyneside ‘Welcoming Place’ and hopes to do so again soon. It will be listed as a free public place where residents can go to get warm, save money on their heating costs, avoid social isolation, and receive support and advice. 

Our 1 Community is a local organisation with a social mission is to drive healthy engagement in activities and skills-based learning projects that have a positive impact on people and places.

Cllr Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector at South Tyneside Council with local entrepreneur and Landlord of the Criterion Pub Chris Pickering
Cllr Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector at South Tyneside Council with local entrepreneur and Landlord of the Criterion Pub Chris Pickering

Our 1 Community has a disability awareness programme run by young people in the area, and works with a local SEND college to deliver social enterprise work experience. There is also an environmental arm encouraging grassroots engagement which runs a series of activities from gorilla gardening projects, skills workshops, biodiversity bootcamps, litter picks, and tree planting projects. 

Its Spotlight programme specifically supports young artists aged 13 – 25 years old, by providing opportunities for paid work, unique performance opportunities (local and national), networking, professional support, volunteer opportunities, and Arts Award Qualifications. Any young artists can join their Spotlight programme by contacting them through their Facebook page.

Speaking about Our 1 Community, Chris said: 

“I believe that every person should be given the choice to make their community a better place to live and the chance to make a better life for themselves and their families. We are the beating heart of the community, giving people a voice and the tools they need to make real change.”

Cllr Paul Dean, Lead Member for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, said:

“Chris is a real ambassador for South Tyneside and embodies the spirit of the Pledge in all that he does, across all of his ventures. He adds real value to the communities his businesses and social enterprise serve. It’s great to see a local entrepreneur give so much back to the borough and we thank him for all the fantastic work he does.”

To find out more about Our 1 Community visit: our1community.co.uk/

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