Christmas shoppers urged to spend their money in Ipswich as festive season kicks off

Ipswich is open for business this Christmas

Ipswich is open for business this Christmas - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Your local shopping centres need your cash as the Christmas spending season starts!

Mayor Glen Chisholm switches on Ipswich's Christmas lights for 2015.

Mayor Glen Chisholm switches on Ipswich's Christmas lights for 2015. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

That was the clear message from Ipswich traders and council officials as the town’s Christmas lights were switched on to mark the launch of the festive season last night.

Thousands of lights sparked into life around the town as mayor Glen Chisholm pressed the magic button on the Town Hall steps in the Cornhill. The event also marked the start of Thursday late-night shopping in the town.

Ipswich Central chairman Terry Baxter said the next few weeks were crucial for the town’s retailers – and urged shoppers to use them to buy their presents and festive fayre.

He said: “The Christmas season sets the tone for the whole year’s trading for many retailers and I would urge people to use our local shops for their festive spending.

“There is a wonderful choice of independent stores and we are seeing a much greater number of national chains represented in the town. I really would urge people to use the town centre as much as possible this Christmas.”

The switch-on was organised by the borough, whose leader David Ellesmere said it was just one of a number of initiatives set up to boost festive trading.

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He said: “The town centre is all lit up and the perfect place to attract Christmas shoppers from near and far. We have a great range of shops from national chains to award winning independents.

“The Borough Council is paying for Park and Ride to run on Sundays and for free Park and Ride on Thursday evenings in the run up to the big day.

“In the town centre all council car parks are excellent value at just £1 an hour or less and we offer a fantastic midweek rate of just £1 for the rest of the day after 3pm. It’s ideal for shoppers, diners and theatre goers wanting to enjoy a merry Ipswich.”

See more on Christmas shopping in Ipswich, Black Friday and Cyber Monday here