A SHOPPING centre manager has vowed to “deliver the best Christmas” for residents and businesses in Colchester – a town which he believes is “ready to boom.”

Martin Leatherdale, Conservative councillor for Lexden and Braiswick, is the boss of Lion Walk, which will this year host the town’s Christmas lights switch-on.

The hallmark event will be led by Colchester mayor Robert Davidson, who will be joined by Father Christmas and Actual Radio’s Pete Chapman and Dom Atkinson.

The free-to-end extravaganza will also boast panto and Disney characters the Colchester Singers, Colchester’s All Star Rock School and Cushti.

READ MORE: Lion Walk Colchester to host Christmas lights switch-on

The spectacle will be followed by a rooftop fireworks display before dance DJs, accompanied by live percussionists, keep the party atmosphere going into the night.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Mr Leatherdale said: “It gives us great pleasure to host the one and only big Colchester light switch on event this year.

“After such turbulent times it is fantastic to be able to return to a new way of normal for customers that desire to ‘get back on with it’.

“It promises to be phenomenal night and we hope you join us for the celebrations in a Covid-safe and diligent manner.

“Let’s bring Christmas home for Colchester and deliver the best Christmas we can for the residents and businesses of Colchester.”

Mr Leatherdale, who is backing the area’s bid to achieve city status, is hoping the festive event will act as a springboard for Colchester businesses post-pandemic.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

He has also praised the likes of the Mercury Theatre and the Firstsite gallery for doing their bit in driving the town’s economy and making it an attractive destination.

“Covid-19, among other challenges, has been unprecedented in retail, however this is testament to the strength and booming business of Lion Walk,” he added.

“We have many new businesses lined up and I genuinely believe with the right attitude and focus Colchester is ready to boom and flourish further.”

The Lion Walk Shopping Centre’s Christmas lights switch-on, in partnership with Essex Mind, will take place on November 17.