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First Christmas lights switching on for St James' retail park, Dover

St James' Retail and Leisure Park will have its first ever Christmas lights switch-on this Saturday.

It will happen just half an hour after the same ceremony for Dover town centre, a few minutes' walk away.

St Jame's will have it first Festive lights switch-on. Picture: Sam Lennon
St Jame's will have it first Festive lights switch-on. Picture: Sam Lennon

This will be the inaugural festive illumination for the £53 million leisure and retail complex, which opened 20 months ago.

It will be done by town mayor Gordon Cowan at 5.30pm outside Cineworld.

Parking is free that dayand Shoppers can enjoy a range of events taking place as part of the build-up, with Santa appearing at M&S to support the RNLI.

There will be treats available at Costa in aid of Costa Foundation and also from Cineworld and Nando’s.

St James Dover will also be supporting Emmaus Dover, the homelessness charity that offers both shelter and work.

The lights will be turned on outside Cineworld. Picture: Sam Lennon
The lights will be turned on outside Cineworld. Picture: Sam Lennon

Representatives and a choir will be based at the retail park between 3pm and 6pm.

St James' facilities manager Geoffrey Hobbs-East said: "We’re thrilled to be able to support Dover Town Council to make the town’s big Christmas light switch-on bigger and more accessible by offering free parking.

"Like ourselves, many of our retailers are also getting in the Christmas spiritand there are going to be family-friendly activities at some of our stores ahead and after the light switch-on.

"“We’re also delighted to be able to support Eammaus Dover on the day.

"They do so much great and invaluable work with a number of people across the local community and it’s important that we recognise that."

Geoff Hobbs-East, manager at St James' Retail and Leisure Park. Picture: Sam Lennon
Geoff Hobbs-East, manager at St James' Retail and Leisure Park. Picture: Sam Lennon

The other Dover switch-on, organised by the town council, is at 5pm that same day.

It is preceded by four hours of entertainment in the Market Square area.

The lights turning on at Sandwich is 7pm on Saturday while the ceremony for Deal took place last Friday.

The 157,00 sq ft St James', at St James Street, first opened with the unveiling of Cineworld on March 9, 2018.

That was the only business trading that day but more moved in during a phased opening in the following months.

The £53 million and 157,000 sq ft centre, at St James Street, had a phased opening over several months.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

Read more: All the latest news from Sandwich


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