Centre will light up for festive event

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There will be plenty of festive fun at a Northumberland retail centre’s special event next week.

Preparation work is currently taking place for the first ever Christmas Fair at The Milkhope Centre in Blagdon. It will include the switch-on of its new Christmas lights.

This display is being supported by The Blagdon Estate and regional employer Banks Mining through the community fund linked to Banks’ nearby Brenkley Lane surface mine site.

Originally opened in 1986 as an artisan workshop centre housed in an array of converted farm buildings, The Milkhope Centre has grown to become a popular retail outlet and it is currently home to ten lifestyle-focused stores.

Other attractions at the event include a free wine tasting at The Blagdon Gallery, mulled wine at kitchenware outlet La Cookshop and Christmas gift ideas in every store.

Keith Crowther, who runs La Cookshop, said: “We’re all very excited at what we have planned for this event.

“There have been quite a number of improvements to the centre in the last couple of years, as well as new stores opening, and our Christmas Fair will hopefully show everyone in the area exactly what’s available on their doorstep.”

The event will take place on Thursday, December 4. Children from Stannington First School will be singing a selection of carols around the Christmas tree from 3.30pm before the centre’s new Christmas lights are officially switched on by Viscount Ridley at around 3.45pm.

Bob Downer, chief executive at The Blagdon Estate, said: “We hope that the Christmas fair will delight old friends of Milkhope and attract new visitors.”