- Thousands of students attended the annual student lock-in at St George’s Shopping Centre, Preston
- Love Island winners Nathan Massey and Cara De La Hoyde took part in a celebrity meet and greet on stage with lucky competition winner
- Katie Cross, 17, from Lostock Hall won the £1,000 cash prize
- National retailers smash last year’s sales figures
The winners of this year’s ITV Love Island said they ‘loved’ their first ever visit to Preston and were ‘humbled’ by the response from thousands of students who turned out to see them at St George’s Shopping Centre’s Student Lock-In.
The star couple – Nathan Massey and Cara De La Hoyde – took to the stage at the ninth annual event and posed for selfies with star-struck students who’d turned out in full force to make the most of the special offers and discounts available for one night only.
Thousands of students descended on the centre for the event, which is now a key date in the student calendar.
Students from UCLan, Cardinal Newman, Runshaw and Preston’s College, enjoyed exclusive shopping discounts and offers from the centre’s retailers including Foot Asylum, H&M, New Look, Millie’s Cookies, Ryman, Swarovski and more.
As well as special offers within the stores a number of external promoters took part in the event, including JD Gyms who offered a prize of a year’s free gym membership, Preston at Night, Escape Rooms and the NHS.
The evening culminated with students gathering around the stage to catch a glimpse of stars Nathan and Cara and winners of an online meet and greet competition took to the stage to meet the stars before the duo announced the winner of the St George’s Lock-In competition to win £1,000 cash.
The lucky winner was 17-year-old Runshaw College student Katie Cross from Lostock Hall who was picked from thousands of competition entrants to walk away with the prize.
The teenager said she was ‘shocked’ to win and said she’d stick to her promise of sharing the cash with her best pal, Yasmin Ishaq who was with her on the night.
At the end of the night, Nathan, a carpenter from Essex who found fame on the ITV show this summer, said: “We’ve loved it here tonight, the students were all really nice and it was so humbling to walk in to that. We always say if it wasn’t for these people voting for us we wouldn’t have won and wouldn’t be where we are now.”
Cara added: “The reception was great – I was nervous before we went out because of how many people were there but everyone was really nice. It has been non-stop since the show ended but we’re enjoying every second of it.”
On Thursday the couple will be in London for the National TV Reality after being both being nominated in the reality personality of the year category.
General manager of St George’s Shopping Centre, Andrew Stringer, said: “Our Student Lock-In is approaching its 10th year and has become a highlight of the student event calendar. It was great to see so many students join us once again and it was a pleasure to welcome Nathan and Cara to the centre – they proved to be a huge hit with the students.
“The event was a huge success for our retailers with early figures suggesting last year’s sales figures were smashed.”