BRIDGWATER shoppers are set to hear sleigh bells ringing next weekend as the town’s shopping centre kicks of the festive season with the return of Santa and his charity grotto.

Parents and their children will be invited to Angel Place Shopping Centre as Santa and his elves swap the North Pole for the centre’s cosy grotto, in aid of Marie Curie and Elliot’s Touch from Saturday, 2 December,

Santa’s Grotto will be open at Angel Place from 11am to 3pm every weekend before Christmas and open every day between December 18-23.

Roger Smith, Angel Place Shopping Centre manager, said the launch of the charity grotto will get everyone into the Christmas spirit.

He said: “We are really excited to have Santa back at Angel Place for another year,” he said. “Last year was a huge success with more than 1,000 children visiting the grotto, helping to raise over £2,000 for Marie Curie and Elliot’s Touch, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to continue our fundraising for these two fantastic charities.”

Elliot’s Touch was formed in 2015, in memory of one-year-old Elliot Stevens who suffered from mitochondrial disease and childhood cardiomyopathy and Marie Curie, which was founded in 1948, is dedicated to providing care and support for those living with a terminal illness.

Roger added: “All the funds raised from the grotto will be halved and go to each charity, so we are encouraging Bridgwater families to come along for a brilliant visit with Santa and show their support for Marie Curie and Elliot’s Touch.”

From Saturday, December 2 to Saturday, December 23, youngsters will be able to visit Santa between 11am and 3pm at Angel Place Shopping Centre for £2.50, including a gift.