Children’s parade to light up Festival Place as it launches season of festive fun in Basingstoke’s “most magical Christmas ever!”

A spectacular light-up children’s parade will launch six weeks of non-stop festive fun at Festival Place, Basingstoke, in what promises to be the town’s most magical Christmas shopping season ever.

The town centre shopping and leisure destination has pulled out all the stops this year to prepare a full programme of events, competitions and attractions that will keep visitors in the Christmas spirit throughout November and December.

The most wonderful time of the year begins on the evening of Friday, November 16, with a parade and dance display featuring local schoolchildren alongside an array of magical woodland characters, including Squirrel Nancy Nutkins, Deer Darlington, Anka The Snow Hare, and many more! Not forgetting Snow White, from the Anvil!

The procession, starting at 6pm, will use the latest lighting technology to put shoppers at the heart of the event. The stunning switch-on finale will take place at 6.30pm.

Visitors to the launch event will each be issued with a band that illuminates. Ten lucky people will have their band change colour and will win a £100 shopping voucher for Festival Place.

After the parade, shoppers are invited to spend the evening exploring Festival Place’s huge range of top-brand retailers, leisure facilities and restaurants.

The parade is only the beginning, as a variety of festive events fill a fun-packed calendar throughout the shopping season.

Visitors will be able to try their hands at The Snowball Throwball competition, become a Stealthy Elfy in a laser mission, get hands-on with the latest children’s gifts at the Toy Lab, take time out in calming Christmas wreath-making workshops, get their pressies wrapped for a donation to St Michael’s Hospice, and get gift tips from the centre’s very own Fairy Gift Mother. Visitors will, of course, be able to visit Santa in his traditional Grotto on the second floor, which will be Destination Christmas. All the activities will be free for visitors.

Neil Churchill, Centre Director at Festival Place, said: “This is my first Christmas at Festival Place, and the first since a huge refurbishment which has transformed the centre.

“We wanted to do something spectacular this year to celebrate the changes, launching with an action-packed event that families will love, and then continuing throughout the season with the biggest and best programme of events and activities that Festival Place has ever seen.

“We’re really excited to capture that Christmassy feeling and the excitement that comes with seeking out special presents for loved ones in a magical, welcoming environment that has something for everyone.

“The whole Festival Place team are already feeling festive and can’t wait to welcome the thousands of visitors who will experience Basingstoke’s most magical Christmas ever this November and December.”

For the first Christmas shopping season, visitors will enjoy the benefits of Festival Place’s newly-refurbished car park with improvements including wider spaces, lights to alert drivers to free spaces, and more payment machines. And watch out – there are even rumours that Santa himself may be parking there during the festive period!

The full line-up of events and activities:

November 16 – Christmas Launch (6pm)

Join woodland friends, Nancy Nutkins, Deer Darlington, Anka the Snow Hare and Snow White in the magical parade through the forest to help wake up Snowy the Wishmas Owl and kickstart the season. The parade will end in Porchester Square and culminate in a grand finale of dance, lighting up a giant animatronic installation.

November 16 to December 24 – Snowball throwball

Visitors will be invited to test their aim at Snowball Throwball! On your marks, get set, throw! Throw some magic at Snowball Throwball!

November 16 to December 24 – Gift Guide Live

Stuck for gift ideas? Gift Guide Live is here to help with your gifting needs. Hosted by everyone’s favourite Fairy Gift Mother on November 17 and 18, get inspiration and treat your loved ones to what they really want this Christmas.

November 24 and 25 – Cracker Station

Get crafty and join our elves at the Christmas Cracker Making Station! Fill your crackers with giggles, jokes and wishes to set your Christmas off with a bang! Super festive fun for all ages. Sponsored by Basingstoke Together.

December 1 and 2 – The Toy Lab

Try out the latest toys, gadgets and Christmas must-haves for little (and big) kids. All elf approved, of course!

December 8 to 22: Stealthy Elfy

Do you have what it takes to be a Stealthy Elfy? Get the presents under the tree without being caught to climb the leaderboard in this interactive laser game. Will you win?

Various dates between November 16 and December 16: Flower Therapy

Need a break from Christmas Shopping? Head over to the Hampshire Flower Studio for mindfulness wreath making. Learn a new skill and natter away in this adult only space – with no outside distractions! Tea and cake provided. Make sure to book your slot at the Customer Lounge.

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in December (Led by Basingstoke BID on December 20) : The Happy Wrappy Place

Rubbish at wrapping? Need an extra pair of hands for those tricky presents? The Happy Wrappy Team are here to help! Festive Services are here to help! Get all wrapped up with Festive Services in aid of St Michael’s Hospice.

November 15 to December 24 – Santa’s Grotto

Come and visit our fabulous, festive grotto and meet a very special person indeed. A truly magical Christmas experience for all the family, open throughout November and December!

For further updates on Christmas at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/Christmas or find details on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Trash to become treasure as Festival Place launches major summer campaign to put the fun into recycling

Trash will turn to treasure and plastic will become fantastic as Festival Place, Basingstoke, launches a major summer recycling initiative to encourage shoppers to have fun while playing their part in helping the environment.

The shopping centre is inviting visitors to donate plastic bottles and packages which will be remodelled by an on-site artist into weird and wonderful robot sculptures during the summer holidays. Schools, community groups, businesses and individuals which would like to donate materials and have a sculpture displayed are asked to contact Marketing@festivalplace.co.uk

As part of the scheme, a series of eye-catching plastic “Recyclabots” – Maggie Zine, Alan Minium, Bev Ridge, Cap‘n Lidov, Carrie O’Bag, and Diana Thirst –  will go on display around the centre to encourage shoppers to drop off their materials. There will also be a prominent plastics recycling drop-off point in Porchester Square from July 30 to start the campaign, which will run until August 19.

The scheme will include an action-packed activities programme for families, including a “Robotrial” treasure hunt and a series of free craft activities from August 13 to 19 so children can create their own unique robots from the collected recycled materials.

Schools and community groups are also being invited to build their own recycling robot. The sculptures, built out of anything from cardboard to plastic bottles, will go on display in the shopping centre.

Shoppers will also be able to take part in an entertaining game called “Uppy Cuppy” – where they are challenged to hold up as many cups as they can. Participants will win a stylish and environmentally-friendly reusable cup. Members of the public will also be able to visit the “Carrie O’Bag” station to exchange their plastic bags for a brown paper reusable one.

Shoppers will be invited to share all their artwork and photographs on social media using the hashtag #FPRecyclabot.

The initiative comes amid Festival Place’s ongoing commitment to help the environment and raise awareness. The shopping centre was the first in the UK to operate an on-site Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Food Digestion Facility, turning food waste into grey water that can be re-used.

Emily Palmer, Marketing Manager at Festival Place, said: “Recycling and particularly the impact of plastic pollution is very high on the news agenda at the moment. With this in mind we have devised a summer initiative that aims to put the fun into recycling and particularly resonates with children.

“We have called upon the expertise of an artist who specialises in creating amazing sculptures out of plastic and the creations will form a spectacular backdrop to all the fun activities we will have going on. It’s a spectacle people will not want to miss!”

Festival Place is committed to helping the environment and has led a number of green-friendly initiatives. Key achievements include:

  • First shopping centre to operate an on-site Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) and Food Digestion Facility turning food waste into grey water.
  • The centre recycles over 170 tonnes of glass bottles each year.
  • All the centre’s cardboard and paper is recovered for recycling and it processes over 440 tonnes per year.
  • Over the past decade the centre has been awarded three Green Hero and six Green Apple awards for recycling commitment.
  • The centre uses waterless urinals and since 2011 collected rainwater has been used in the centre’s cleaning regime.
  • Centre-wide initiatives such as putting timers on lights, swapping to green energy electrical suppliers, and reducing the temperature by one degree saves over 800 tonnes of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere each year.

Emily added: “Festival Place continues to be a national leader in spearheading environmentally-friendly initiatives and we hope our summer campaign captures the imagination and gets even more shoppers recycling.”

The Trash to Treasure campaign is one of a series of events scheduled at Festival Place during 2018. For further information visit www.festivalplace.co.uk or find details on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Review 2018: Giraffe, Festival Place

Thank you very much to Lottie for today’s NHM Review post!!

Lottie and Louise (NHM) were invited along to try out Giraffe’s new menu and set up. We had a BRILLIANT evening and thank you VERY much to the Giraffe team for making our evening so lovely!

Giraffe, Festival Place

Giraffe in Festival Place, Basingstoke has recently had a bit of a makeover with new decor and a new set up where you now go up to order your food and pay when you order. Recently, we were lucky enough to attend a tasting session at the new and improved Giraffe, where we got to try samples of meat and vegetarian dishes from the new menu.

Drinks

There is a large range of drinks to choose from on the menu including beer, wine, soft drinks, smoothies and cocktails. We were both driving, so we opted to try the ‘Homemade Lemonade’ (which is one of the unlimited soft drinks to choose from) and a mango and ginger ‘Nix and Kix’. I really enjoyed the lemonade and would definitely order it again.

Food

Nibbles and Appetisers

First up, we were given the ‘Roasted Harrisa Nuts’ and ‘Lovely Olives’ from the nibbles section of the menu. I don’t usually eat nuts but thought I would give them a try and was pleasantly surprised, I really liked them!

Then we tried some of Giraffe’s appetisers. We tried the ‘Salt and Pepper Squid’ (Louise: My FAVOURITE!!),

‘Edemame Beans’,

‘Karaage Chicken’

and ‘Garlic Flatbread’.

Being vegetarian, the ‘Garlic Flatbread’ was my favourite and would make a perfect sharing starter before your main course.

Mains

The mains part of the menu is broken up in to different sections:

‘Bowls for the soul’ This is range of bowls of food including curries, rice dishes, tagines and more. We got to sample the ‘Katsu Chicken Curry’,

the ‘Malaysian Laksa’ with tofu and prawns and the ‘Spiced Aubergine Tagine’, which was my favourite dish of the night! The tagine is a combination of charred aubergine, beans and lentils, and is served with cous cous, toasted flatbread and yoghurt. There is also a lamb version for those who prefer a ‘meatier’ option.

‘Big n Beautiful Burgers’
Giraffes burgers are served in a soft bun with mixed leaves and a tomato slice, and they all come with skin-on fries. We got to try the Burger Bacon Cheese Stack and the ‘Halloumi and Falafel’ burger. Both were delicious, the sauce on the Burger Bacon Cheese stack was very tasty and anything that includes halloumi is good in my eyes!
 
‘Seriously Special Salads’

From the salad section of the menu we got to try the vegan ‘Super Freekah’ salad. Made up of butternut squash, roasted peppers, lentils, freeka and topped with yogurt it makes a lovely healthy option.

‘Flatbreads’
In addition to the ‘Garlic Flatbread’ starter, Giraffe’s menu has a range of flatbreads that you can also have as a main course. We got to sample the ‘Classic Margherita’ which was very tasty.

The other flatbreads include ‘Mexican Chicken and Chorizo’ and ‘Spicy Pulled Pork’.

Sides

There are a variety of tasty sides available on the menu, including ‘Sweet Potato Fries’, ‘Creamy Slaw’ and ‘Chipotle Creamed Corn’.

Desserts

When it comes to deserts, Giraffe now offer ‘Unlimited Frozen Yoghurt’. We tried vanilla flavour and it was really good. We were also lucky enough to sample the delicious ‘Churros’.

Churros are Spanish doughnuts, coated in cinnamon sugar and served with a chocolate dipping sauce.

We didn’t get to try the breakfasts that they offer but they look yummy!!!

Decor, Ambience and Facilities

With lots of wood, soft orange lighting and colourful furnishings there is a lovely warm and relaxed feeling in Giraffe. There’s music playing in the background which is loud enough for you to hear and enjoy, but not so loud that it disturbs your conversation. 
 
The new layout includes a counter for you to pay at and  a section in the middle for self service of the unlimited drinks and frozen yoghurt. All the facilities were very clean and well looked after.

Value for Money

With the majority of starters and deserts costing around the £5 mark and main courses roughly £10, I think Giraffe is great value for money. The Kids menu offers a huge range of meals – one of the biggest I’ve seen since having a child!
Kids Meal
You can even get a great deal of a main, desert and drink for £6.50. At weekends, they offer a free kids meal per full price adult main purchase! They also do a number of special offers, such as selected breakfasts for £5, 50% Flatbreads on Fridays and 2 for 1 on cocktails. 
 

Having been to Giraffe in the past, I have always noticed the warm atmosphere and great variety on the menu. I was delighted to see this was still the case following the recent revamp and the changes to how you order your food.

Thank you to Giraffe for having us, I will certainly be back soon!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Giraffe Basingstoke in conjunction with Festival Place. Our meal was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. We were not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are our own.

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It’s story time at Festival Place with Peppa Pig!

Peppa_Pig_Meet_and_Greet_Festival_Place

Basingstoke shopping centre, Festival Place is inviting shoppers to enjoy story time with Peppa Pig and George this Easter.

Story time sessions, led by a narrator, will take place on Saturday 26th March at intervals between 11am and 4pm and customers are being advised to arrive early at disappointment.

Peppa Pig is a lovable but slightly bossy little pig. She is four years old and lives with Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig and her little brother George. Peppa likes playing with her friends and looking after George. Most of all, Peppa loves jumping up and down in muddy puddles, laughing and making loud snorting noises.

The story time sessions follow on from a number of popular meet and greets at the centre, including Po from Kung Fu Panda and Alvin and the Chipmunks.

To keep up to date with details of the Peppa Pig and George story time sessions and other events at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk  or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Festival Place – Your place to be festive this winter 2015!

Christmas Light Switch On_Credit The Digital South Ltd (3)

This winter will see Festival Place transform into your “Festive” Place, with a range of Christmas activities and events for the whole family.

The Christmas entertainment will kick off on Friday 13th November with the centre’s famous annual light switch on to an incredible firework display.  Marking the official start of Christmas, the event will include performances from ‘Walk Like A Man’ Jersey Boys tribute act featuring four West End vocalists, the Military Wives Choir and some of the best Sound Stage acts from the recent Summer Festival.

The 13th November will also see the launch of Festival Place’s Christmas Experience, where families will have the chance to hop on a train and meet Santa with his elves.

Bargain hunters will be pleased to hear that Friday 27th November will see the centre host the ultimate discount event, Black Friday, where Festival Place’s major retailers will be putting on hundreds of money saving deals for customers.

The Christmas activities will continue on Sunday 6th December, with a Santa Parade marching through the centre to get the whole family into the festive spirit.

The Festival Place team will also be working hard to make sure the Christmas shopping experience is as easy and stress-free for customers as possible – With their special Festival Place ‘Elf Services’ pop-up Christmas shop.   Whether a customer is looking for the best gifts to buy, need help with their shopping bags or just want some directions, Festival Place’s Christmas helpers will be on hand to assist.

To keep up to date with details of these and other upcoming events at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk  or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Credit images to Digital South Ltd.

Festival Place, Basingstoke.
Festival Place, Basingstoke.

Festival Place announces bumper Summer Festival activity line-up

Continuing Festival Place’s celebration of summer, the shopping centre is delighted to reveal a fantastic line-up of family-friendly activities taking place in its dedicated Summer Garden this August.

On Saturday 15th August, children should bring their favourite bear and pop down to take part in a Teddy Bears’ picnic hosted by Build-A-Bear Workshop. Kicking off with games at 10am, activities will be happening throughout the day including a colouring competition, fashion shows, dressing up games.  As well as story time between 11am and 1pm, thanks to the Basingstoke Discovery Centre.  Tesco will be providing free soft drinks and honey sandwiches for the picnic.

Towards the end of the month, any dinosaur fans should mark Saturday 22nd August in their diaries as Dinosaur Day comes to Festival Place.  There will be Dinosaurs, Music and a Balloon modeller there between 11.00am and 3.00pm.  Little ones wishing to meet Peppa Pig and George, as well as meet the Gruffalo should visit on Saturday 29th August thanks to local charity, Dreams Come True and Lloyds Bank.  Subject to change, for the latest appearance timings and information please visit the Festival Place website.

Events Schedule

  • 15th August – Teddy Bears’ picnic
  • 22nd August – Dinosaur Day
  • 29th August – Meet Peppa Pig and Friends

For full details of all events, please visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/summerfestival or find Festival Place on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Festival Place brings the holiday spirit to Basingstoke!

As part of Festival Place’s ongoing Summer Festival of activities, the shopping centre is getting ready to launch its Festival Beach Club and bring a little holiday spirit to the people of Basingstoke.

The Festival Beach Club will be in Festival Square on Saturday 25th July and Sunday 26th July from 2pm until 8pm, with stylish beach furniture for shoppers to relax on whilst they enjoy some fun entertainment.

There will be chill out tunes from popular DJ, Dean Carr, who has recently played at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, and fantastic performances from some of the X Factor’s regular dancers.

Kids can have beach-style fun in the sand pit and everyone can enjoy food from some of the shopping centre’s restaurants, including Festival Street Kitchen, Coal Bar & Grill, GBK, Giraffe and La Tasca, who will all be serving orders to the area.

Marketing and Business Performance Manager at Festival Place, Sarah Murphy, said: “Whether you can’t get away for a holiday this year or perhaps just want to get into the holiday spirit, our Festival Beach Club is going to be the place to come to get that holiday vibe. It’s going to be a lot of fun for everyone!”

To keep up to date with details of other upcoming events at Festival Place visitwww.festivalplace.co.uk/summerfestival or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Share your photos of the Festival Beach Club on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging Festival Place and using #fpsummer for your chance to win a family day out at Festival Place including four tickets to Vue Cinema and a Festival Place voucher worth £250!

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Get your summer on with Festival Place’s Sound Stage – starts Saturday 11th July 2015

This could be a really great opportunity to expose your little one’s to some live music in town and it’s free too!

Let’s just hope the performers are warned in advance that swearing won’t be acceptable. (Wow, do I sound old! lol. )

Get your summer on with Festival Place’s Sound Stage

As part of Festival Place’s ongoing Summer Festival of activities and entertainment, the centre is looking forward to the exciting launch of its Festival Sound Stage on Saturday 11th July. Running from 4pm – 8pm, and subsequently every Sunday throughout the summer, the stage provides a terrific platform for local up and coming music talent to showcase their abilities through performing acoustically or a cappella.

Live acts will perform in the newly transformed Summer Garden in Festival Square, after being chosen from the initial auditions on 6th June. The line-up includes local artists, Chris Holden, Rich Jacobs, Irene Nazimbwa and Mark Furmston to name a few and will run in partnership with one of the longest serving music retailers in the UK, Dawsons Music.

Marketing and Business Performance Manager at Festival Place, Sarah Murphy, commented: “Festival Place is delighted to launch the Festival Sound Stage to provide some fantastic live entertainment for the people of Basingstoke and to give the region’s future stars a chance to shine. I can’t wait to see the artists take to the stage and am grateful for the ongoing support of Dawsons Music who have really helped bring this event to life.”

If you are interested in being part of the Festival Sound Stage simply email through a link to your YouTube video to marketing@festivalplace.co.uk.

To keep up to date with details of other upcoming events at Festival Place visit www.festivalplace.co.uk/summerfestival or find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Share your photos of the Summer Festival on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram tagging Festival Place and using #fpsummer for your chance to win fantastic prizes!

 

Please view the timetable below for full event timings for Saturday 11th July:

Time Name YouTube video
4.00 – 4.30 Chris Holden  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=552FFs1Xh_0
4.30 – 5.00 Sam Brett https://www.youtube.com/user/SamBrettMusic
5.00 – 5.30 Rich Jacobs  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muPV3BneOhU
6.00 – 6.30 Irene Nazimbwa  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_ClwcRQCKA
6.30 – 7.00 Simon Vincent https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2xa1CPzLg4&feature=youtu.be
7.30 – 8.00 Mark Furmston N/A

For further information contact the Festival Place PR team on 02380 828525 or email festivalplace@fivebyfiveuk.com.

 

 

My Experience: Style Council at Festival Place

001
Melissa is the blonde on the left, Dawn from “Dear Mummy” blog is on the right.

This morning I went into Festival Place for a VIP breakfast for “Style Council” so I could see what the event was all about.

“Style Council” is a free event that is open to everyone who is in town this weekend.

Anyone who has met me will know that I’m not exactly a “follower of fashion”. However, just because I’m not “good” at fashion doesn’t mean that I don’t take an interest.

006

I have really struggled with shopping for clothes since Miss NHM was born, not least because my body shape has changed (waist, what waist?!?) but also because I developed textile dermatitis which basically means I am allergic to polyester, nylon, viscose and any other man made material.

I literally have only worn cotton since Miss NHM was born.

A few months ago I was invited along by the Festival Place team to meet Melissa Murrell, who is a top stylist and I was very lucky to have a few minutes to ask Melissa about my clothing dilemma.

She was absolutely lovely about it and very approachable and knowledgeable. I learnt that I can also wear modal which has literally opened up clothing doors for me that I thought would always be shut! lol.

Melissa is hosting a number of FREE masterclasses across the weekend in Festival Place.

004
Dawn and Jenny looking fab in the gorgeous mirrors that were on display.

If you’ve lost your confidence with clothes, especially since having babies, or you need a new outfit for a wedding, interview, etc, I recommend nipping into Festival Place and catching one of Melissa’s classes.

I learnt so much in 30 minutes from her and it helps that she’s a busy Mum, like us, so she gets how difficult it can be.

Melissa has also introduced me to Fake Bake, a really fab and easy instant tan spray, which I finally got hold of this week and am hoping to try out this weekend.

Fingers crossed I don’t turn out like I’ve been tangoed! (showing my age there! lol) 😀

011

Festival Place – Style Council

Melissa Murrell who is a top stylist, is at Festival Place to offer a number of FREE masterclasses across this weekend:

Masterclass 1 –  Dress for your body and shape

Times: 12pm and 2pm, Saturday and Sunday

Masterclass 2 –  Capsule Wardrobe

Times: 1pm and 3pm, Saturday and Sunday

Melissa has real women of all different shapes and sizes to help show how to dress for your shape using clothing from:

  • Oasis
  • Next
  • M&S,
  • BHS
  • Fat Face
  • Quiz
  • Taking Shape
  • H&M
  • Ann Summers
  • Warehouse

In addition there are also beauty experts on hand from:

  • Destination Skin
  • Body Shop
  • Lush
  • The Perfume Shop

to help you get ready for summer.

The lovely lady from The Perfume Shop who let me try out some of their perfumes.
The lovely lady from The Perfume Shop who let me try out some of their perfumes.

If you share your Style Council photos on social media tagging Festival place, using #fpsummer, you will also be in with a chance to win a £500 Festival Place voucher to have a shopping spree on them!!

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Related Posts

Style Council at Festival Place this June

 

All Our Own Crafts 2015 – Grand Opening this Saturday!

I’m soooo excited to see that the “All Our Own Crafts” team are back, even bigger and better than before!

Many of the 40 local crafters in the shop are NHM Readers and Supporters and I’m delighted to see that there are so many people involved.

Congrats to Tracy, Kate and the team and I’m sure it will be a HUGE success!

All Our Own Crafts 2015

A new POP-Up craft shop in Festival Place, Basingstoke will launch with a grand opening on Saturday 18th April 2015.

This project was devised by Basingstoke residents Tracy Braybrook and Kate Donohoe who originally opened All Our Own Crafts in October 2014 for 3 months, giving local residents a unique chance to retail their crafts within the busy shopping centre. This will be the second time All Our Own Crafts will be in the centre, with the shop opening in April.

Festival Place have granted the pop-up shop the use of an empty unit opposite Laura Ashley for a two month period. It will display the crafts of 40 local people.

All Our Own Crafts will hold a grand opening from 9am on Saturday 18th April 2015 with lots of fun activities within the shop.

Normal opening hours will be Monday to Saturdays 9am to 6pm and on Sundays 11am to 5pm.

For more information, visit All Our Own Crafts Website or their Facebook page HERE.

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