‘Leyland Christmas’ will light up the town

Festive feel: Leyland United Reformed Church's Christmas Service in 2010
Festive feel: Leyland United Reformed Church's Christmas Service in 2010
Share this article

Christmas will be brought to life in Leyland town centre this year - albeit slightly early!

A whole host of attractions and entertainment has been announced to help get people into the festive spirit next month, starting with a new version of the summer’s popular Leyland Live event.

Nigel Stewart, who organised the successful music festival in July, has come up with a new feature set for Friday, November 30, to coincide with a number of other attractions to celebrate Christmas in Leyland.

‘Leyland Christmas’ will see singers and musicians filling venues around the town, as dance troops, street gymnasts, a brass band and a choir take to a specially commissioned stage in Hough Lane.

Nigel revealed: “There are similarities to Leyland Live, in that there will be a number of venues such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and coffee houses taking part, but there’s so much more going on this time too.

“It all starts at 3.30pm when the new acts will perform on a portable stage, which will move along Hough Lane from one roundabout to the other.

“The outdoor entertainment will conclude at 8pm, which is when people will be able to go into the participating venues and watch bands and singers.

“The smaller venues will have different acts on at 8pm, 9pm, and 10pm, which is similar to Leyland Live, but the larger places will each just have one band on throughout night, playing three sets, which is different to last time.

“A few venues have signed up already, and I’m hoping for about a dozen in total.”

Another bonus about the Leyland Christmas event is that it’s all free entry this time round, with no wristbands or tickets needed.

Nigel said: “Christmas is a central festival in my life, because I’m a Christian, and I wanted to come up with a way of promoting a sense of community in Leyland.

“I thought, if we can use music and food to bring people together, especially at Christmas, that will be brilliant.

“It also creates economic opportunities for businesses in the town, and supports local acts as well.”

Market traders have also agreed to open later that night, with more stalls on Hough Lane, and some shops will stay open later too.

A Christingle service will take place at 6.30pm at the United Reformed Church on Hough Lane, and there will also be a Christmas tree light switch on.

Last year, traders in the town centre said they felt let down that nothing was being done to promote Leyland at Christmas, so South Ribble Council’s My Neighbourhood Forum has also pledged to help the cause this time.

Coun Matthew Tomlinson, chair of the Leyland Neighbourhood Forum, announced this week that funding has been made available for Christmas lights to fill the high street.

He said: “I think people recognised last year that we did our best to celebrate Christmas in Leyland, but it wasn’t very spectacular.

“This time, we’ve got more lights to decorate the trees and lamp-posts along Hough Lane, and some canvas banners to put along the high street, which will read things like ‘Welcome to Christmas in Leyland’ and ‘Merry Christmas’.

“It’ll hopefully put a smile on people’s faces.”

Chairman of the Leyland Business Group, Tom Booth, is delighted with everything that is being planned this year, and says it will be a boost for the traders.

He said: “It will all help to bring a real Christmas feel to Leyland, which is really good news.

“It will attract people to the area, and will make the town look nice at night when people want to do their Christmas shopping.

“I think this will make people feel proud of their town.”

- If you would like to help out on the night of November 30 for the Leyland Christmas event, whether that be volunteering or performing, contact Nigel Stewart by emailing info@creatives-network.co.uk or calling 07883 181978.