Eastleigh’s council bosses promise the run-up to Christmas will be easier in the Town Centre this year with late night shopping, some free or discounted parking, entertainment and a “Christmassy” atmosphere with a new seasonal market.
Town centre retailers, the Business Improvement District (BID) and Eastleigh Borough Council are joining forces to ease the burden for festive shoppers – and inject some fun into the seasonal rush.
The Swan Centre will be open until 8pm on Thursday 10 and Thursday 17 December.
Visitors to Market Street and the High Street can park free for an hour from 3pm (although drivers will still need to display a ticket). And if shoppers spend £25 or more in one transaction they can get a £2.60 refund on their parking by taking their parking voucher and receipt along to the BID office, next to McDonalds in Wells Place.
The Vintage Market, which was part of September’s Mardi Gras, was so successful say the council that the event will be revived as a ‘Vintage Christmas Extravaganza’ on Saturday 12 December, from 9am to 4pm.
Unique gifts, clothes and jewellery will be on offer at more than 50 stalls that will fill the newly developed Market Place, and it is promised that a ‘Christmassy’ atmosphere will spill through much of the town centre.
The start of the festive season was heralded with the popular Christmas light switch-on and fun day on 21 November – and fun and entertainment remains high on the agenda.
The Point Youth Theatre is staging two productions for the festive period: their younger members will present their take on animal conversationalist, Dr Dolittle, from 3 to 5 December, while the older performers will re-tell the classic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.
Eastleigh Museum is offering festive hands-on activities for families from 10.30am to 1.30pm on Saturday 5 December.
Meanwhile, the Swan Centre is offering young fans of the movie Frozen a free weekend of Frozen-themed fun and games on 5 and 6 December, and the Centre is offering a chance to Dine with Santa at four of its restaurants on Sunday 20 December.
Councillor Paul Bicknell, Chair of Eastleigh Local Area Committee, said in a statement:
“Eastleigh offers an excellent range of retail, restaurant and leisure outlets and, working with the BID and town centre businesses, the council is keen to make the run-up to Christmas as enjoyable and as easy for shoppers as possible. So why not take this fantastic opportunity to support your local town and local business.”