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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the town

christmas lightsChristmas has arrived in Tamworth as we celebrate our great town, our businesses and community.

As we know, 2020 has been a year like no other and many of the usual festive activities cannot take place, but Tamworth still has so much to be grateful for and Tamworth Borough Council wants to share some Christmas spirit with all its residents and visitors.

Take a walk through the town and you will see the Christmas lights on display. New to this year, the Christmas Lights Committee have a fantastic light projection on buildings around the town. The funding has been secured with thanks to local business sponsors in addition to a donation from Tamworth Borough Council.

Parking will again be free in Tamworth Borough Council run car parks this Saturday, December 5 and December 19. Ankerside Shopping Centre is also offering free parking in its car park on those dates. Please note the offer does not apply to the NCP car park on the site of the former Gungate Precinct.

Our local businesses have been creating stunning window displays for shoppers to enjoy as part of our Festive Windows competition. Shopping local this season has never been so important and our businesses are offering all shoppers a very warm and festive welcome. The aim is for the town centre to shine and sparkle in all the colours of Christmas, giving families, residents and visitors from surrounding areas more reasons to shop local this yuletide season.

Members of the public will be asked to vote for their favourite display via social media and judges (including the Mayor of Tamworth, the Tamworth Herald and a Radio Tamworth DJ), will walk around town prior to Christmas and choose their favourite.

As well as the honour of being the best, winners will get additional free publicity on Visit Tamworth pages.

Ankerside has also joined in with the festivities and are dedicating their Christmas tree to the NHS, and their staff for the dedication they have shown during the pandemic.

A smaller tree will also be decorated with yellow hearts which will become the Ankerside Memory Tree for anyone wishing to remember a loved one. The yellow hearts will be available from the Centre Management Office.

To get involved with the Memory Tree, anyone can make a donation, pick up a heart and dedicate it for a loved one, then post in the collection box by the tree.  Each day a member of the team at Ankerside will then place the hearts on the memory tree. All contributions will be donated to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 Appeal.

Mark Burbridge, Ankerside Manager said: “We are delighted to showcase our two special trees this Christmas in addition to a number of our retailers taking part in the Festive Window Competition. Pandora, Freida’s and Specsavers have already started on their displays, and we look forward to other retailers taking part when they re-open on Wednesday, December 3.”

The council’s Arts and Events team are also supporting a new project in partnership with New Urban Era, professional artists and students from South Staffordshire College. The project has called on the local public, groups and schools, to help with designs of the artwork of various angels’ wings in an art trail around the town, as a build up to Christmas.

The project has also worked with local businesses and locations across the town including Ankerside, Marmion House, Tamworth Castle and Bandstand, displaying ‘wings’ in windows until January, 2021.

Shoppers to the town are encouraged to stand in the middle of each wing design, take a selfie and share on social media. The hope is to fill social media with Christmas cheer and angels by tagging in @TamworthArtsandEvents and @NewurbanEra.

Nue founder Vic Brown, said: “We are looking forward to seeing this successful art year out on a high and working together with Tamworth Borough Council, South Staffordshire College and residents to create some magic for all to enjoy over the Christmas period.

“We are Angels has already proven to be a great success judging by all the selfies we have received and the comments on social media .We can't wait to get the final instalments in place this weekend.

“Nue would like to thank the public for all amazing entries and our partners who have supported us to put some extra magic into Tamworth this Christmas"

Cllr Jeremy Oates, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for heritage and growth, said: “As we are all aware, due to the pandemic lots of events can’t take place this year, but this doesn’t mean Christmas is cancelled.

“We hope families will take advantage of our free parking Saturdays and support our local shops and businesses. The Covid-19 safe activities including the Festive Windows displays, Christmas lights, ‘We are Angels’ project and the Snowman Trail, can still bring some Christmas cheer and make the town as festive and inviting as possible, while continuing to abide by the local restrictions.

“This is an ideal way to give shoppers and visitors more reason to shop local and support the town centre.

“We invite everyone to join in and be a part of the Christmas spirit.”