Traders in plea to get behind festive plans

Traders from Atkinson's Jewellers, Bean Drinking coffee shop, Jon Sedon hair salon, Heaven on Earth beauty salon and Peppermint Cottage furniture shop want Hough Lane to be spruced up for Christmas
Traders from Atkinson's Jewellers, Bean Drinking coffee shop, Jon Sedon hair salon, Heaven on Earth beauty salon and Peppermint Cottage furniture shop want Hough Lane to be spruced up for Christmas
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Traders are being urged to get behind this year’s Christmas celebrations in Leyland.

A package of sparkling trees are being offered to shops and businesses to light up the town for the festive season, as well as carol service, wish tree, and Santa’s Grotto.

But that isn’t enough for one of Leyland’s major attractions, who has decided not to open this December.

The British Commercial Vehicle Museum, which was due to open to help the town celebrate Christmas, will remain closed to the public, and will take exhibits to other towns instead.

Stephen Bullock, one of the museum’s trustees, said: “We were hoping there was going to be more going on in the town.

“I went to a meeting about Christmas plans in the hope and aspiration there was going to be a lot going on, but I didn’t see much enthusiasm to be honest and I came away feeling quite down hearted.

“We were happy to open and do things with the town but because the town aren’t doing much, we won’t be opening.”

Traders on Hough Lane say they are willing to put more in to make this year the best ever, but say they don’t have limited funds.

Paul Atkinson, from Atkinson’s Jewellers, said: “There has never been a big Christmas effort in Leyland.

“I have grown up here and it has been a long, long time since it really felt like Christmas here.

“With the new Wetherspoons opening we have seen the buzz is coming back and I think people should be jumping on that.

“There could be more of an effort but it is all down to funding in the end.”

Karen Swan, owner of new furniture and gift shop Peppermint Cottage, said: “I’d love to see some nice lights down Hough Lane, but it is at a cost to the traders.”

Tom Booth of coffee shop Bean Drinking on Hough Lane, said: “The council are putting what they have got into Leyland and they are encouraging businesses to lead the way forward. This is what we are doing.

“If we want to Christmas bigger, then let’s make it bigger.

“From our point of view, what we are doing is every Thursday we are doing a Christmas market day, where we are opening later and having different stalls and events.

“Ideally, if we can get more people to open on the same night then it would make a great atmosphere.”

South Ribble Council have offered a Christmas tree package to shops and anyone interested should get in touch on 01772 625441.

They will also be decorating site including the roundabout on Churchill Way and installing a large Christmas Wish Tree in the garden area of the United Reformed Church, Hough Lane.

On Friday, December 2,

a carol service will start at the church and the light switch-on will take place after.

The following Saturday, Santa’s Grotto will be open from 10am until 3pm, with Lostock Hall Brass Band also playing.