Wonderland bid to boost festive trade

Alpine Bar planned for Preston
Alpine Bar planned for Preston
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Preston’s historic Flag Market will be transformed in to a winter wonderland with a Christmas market, Alpine bar and ice rink from Saturday.

The city’s Business Improvement District (BID) are to build chalets selling food, drink, festive gifts and arts and crafts to the thousands of shoppers expected to flock to the city centre over three weeks. It will open alongside a real ice rink and heated Alpine bar on Saturday and run until January 4, in partnership with Preston Council.

BID spokesman Mark Whittle said the Flag Market would create a stunning back drop for the event which it is hoped will boost city centre traders.

He said: “Preston has developed a reputation for offering one of the premier Christmas experience’s in the North West, and we believe we have topped it this year.

“Over a three-week period the Flag Market will become a winter wonderland offering local produce and festive gifts where people can do everything from enjoying a mulled wine or hot chocolate to buying those unique gifts. We believe the real ice rink which will be installed and the Alpine bar will give people even more reasons to come and enjoy an unmissable Christmas experience in Preston.”

The bus station car park will be free to shoppers until December 15, with the Market Hall car park open through until Christmas Eve.

Mark added: “The challenge for Preston’s traders now is to seize the opportunity which they have. We believe there will be a swell of visitors to our city centre during this period and they now have to make sure they do what they do best – offer great products and service.”