THE efforts made by Ramsey Chamber of Commerce to attract shoppers to the town centre in the run-up to Christmas has been applauded by Ramsey Town Commissioners.
This year the chamber has taken the initiative to engage the community with a series of events designed to breathe some festive life into the town and the local economy.
One such event was Friday’s switching on of the Christmas lights, which tied in with this year’s Children in Need campaign as Pudsey the Bear was among the ceremony’s guests, and over 250 baubles decorated by local school children were unveiled.
There are also plans for Santa’s grotto on December 1, 8, 9 and 15.
Separately the chamber has organised a prize-packed Santa Trail for Sunday December 9 that will see a section of Parliament Street closed to accommodate street entertainment, stalls, a farmer’s market and a hog roast.
Chamber of Commerce treasurer Steven Bevan said: ‘The Santa Trail has been particularly successful for Ramsey, and we’re expanding it this year to add a bit of atmosphere.
The event will feature symbols representing the 12 days of Christmas hidden in the area.
Entrants write the details of the search and enter into a post box at the town hall.
‘Last year’s prize pot was over £1,200, and prizes are vouchers from local businesses, so it’s good for everyone.’
Ramsey Town Commissioners’ chairman Captain Nigel Malpass acknowledged how important events like these were to the vibrancy of the town centre.
He said: ‘We applaud Ramsey Chamber of Commerce for the imaginative programme of events they are arranging in the run-up to Christmas, at a time of challenging trading conditions and increased pressure on households’ budgets.
‘The chamber’s creativity and vision complement the Ramsey regeneration scheme and make a valuable contribution to revitalising the town centre.’
He added: ‘Town centres today have to be so much more than a retail hub; they have to serve as community-focused spaces by day and by night – year round, not simply at Christmas – if they are to attract new businesses and investment and if they are not merely to survive but to thrive.
‘The commissioners are therefore pleased to lend their support to Ramsey Chamber of Commerce and wish them well in their endeavours during this crucial trading period.’