Darlington Borough Council is in talks to hold this year’s Christmas Light Switch-On on a weekend.
With the annual event being well attended in recent years, the council is hoping to build on its popularity by moving the switch-on to a Sunday, allowing the event to become a full family fun day.
The 2018 Christmas Light Switch-On, hosted by TFM’s Steve and Karen, is one of the many festive events being hailed for attracting thousands of visitors to Darlington town centre in the run-up to Christmas.
The first ever Ice Sculpture Trail, a festive shop window competition and Loco the Love Darlo Naughty Elf also helped drive up the numbers of visitors to the town centre. The council revealed that they are in talks to bring the Ice Sculpture Trail back for 2019.
Other events that attracted crowds to the town centre included the launch of The Imperial Quarter, Christmas Market stalls and festive family fun at the Cornmill and Queen Street shopping centres.
Councillor Chris McEwan, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration said: “Our new town centre partnership and events team has worked with retailers across the town centre, the markets team and with the popular #LoveDarlo Facebook page, to devise and promote a full programme of festive events.
“These have helped to increase the numbers of potential customers coming to the town centre in the run up to Christmas.”
He continued: “In addition, our parking offers meant that there was free parking after 3pm every day of the week.
“We are fully aware of the challenges facing local and national retailers and feel that this programme of festive events has helped to give a competitive edge to shopping in the town.”
Tori Gill, Managing Director of tgi MEDIA who look after the #LoveDarlo Facebook page, added: “The figures speak for themselves with visits and engagements with our page increasing by 40% in the run up to Christmas.
“The shop window competition and search for the elf promotion helped to create a great deal of interest in the town centre and what was going on.
“Our page also includes offers, news and deals on local shops and restaurants. Hopefully, when someone visits the page, they will see lots more of what the town has to offer.”
Darlington Borough Council is working alongside retailers and businesses in the town to organise events for the coming year.
Such events included an Easter Extravaganza in April, the return of the Darlington Food Festival and the Darlington Jazz Festival in May.
Source: Darlington Borough Council