Leyland is skating ahead with exciting new plans for Christmas – that’s Christmas 2017.
With a feeling the town has been put back on the map, traders and council bosses are determined to keep it there.
Last month’s Leyland Christmas Festival – when Corrie star Sam Aston, who plays Chesney Brown in the top soap, switched on the festive lights – is still fresh in the memory, and organisers want to build on the success.
Next year’s festival date has been set for November 25.
Two ‘head turning’ attractions – an ice rink and snow globe – have been snapped up to entertain the visitors.
And the wheels have been set in motion now for a celebrity to switch on the lights again. Martin Carlin, of the Leyland Town Team, said: “Whilst the fire is still hot and everyone seems to be talking about this year’s Christmas Festival event, we felt that we had to act now in planning for next year, so we are pleased to announce that we have secured an ice rink and a snow globe for our official Christmas Festival being held on Saturday, November 25, 2017.
“The ice rink will be set up for two days on the Saturday and Sunday, whilst the snow globe will be just for the one day on the Saturday.
“Leyland, as far as I’m concerned, has never had such things as these and will sure turn people’s heads, not just in Leyland, but around the North West. For a few years now we have lived in the shadow of other towns around us.
“We are a growing town once again. Each year we will continue to make it bigger and better.
Since we started our campaign Light up Leyland at Christmas in 2015, we have raised over £10,000.
“Next year we aim to raise more money by doing events such as a sponsored walk and runs.
“The more money we can raise, the more lights we can put up around Leyland.
“With the help of our popular Leyland ‘then and now’ calendars 2017, which are on sale in local shops, these can raise up to £5,000, all the money raised goes straight back in to our campaign.
“Our phase three campaign 2017 should see us at least light up Towngate where we aim to use the street lights. I’ve already been in discussions with certain people, too, who can switch the lights on for next year.” South Ribble Borough Council leader, councillor Peter Mullineaux, said: “Working alongside the council, Leyland Town Team did an excellent job of organising this year’s Leyland Christmas Festival, which was a fantastic day out for everyone.
“The wheels are in motion to make next year’s celebration even bigger and better and I am absolutely thrilled with this announcement.
“Since being established by traders in 2013, the Town Team has been an asset to Leyland, organising events that have generated lots of community spirit - and the Town Team deserves a lot of credit for that. The ice rink will be a real centrepiece and I am sure the rink and the snow globe will bring in many visitors to South Ribble and that it will be a real boost for local businesses.”