Santa lands in Sunderland

As long as you've got your elf...Santa and Mrs Calus land in The Bridges
As long as you've got your elf...Santa and Mrs Calus land in The Bridges
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You better watch out, you better not cry...

...Santa Claus has come to town.

Three-year-old Scarlett Rose-Lewis was one of the first youngsters to visit Santa's grotto

Three-year-old Scarlett Rose-Lewis was one of the first youngsters to visit Santa's grotto

St Nick has set up shop in Sunderland's Bridges centre, as bosses gear up for what they reckon will be its biggest ever Christmas.

The centre has welcomed a host of new retailers in the last 12 months, including KIKO, Smiggle, Footasylum, The Works, Café M, Phone Traders and Holland & Barrett.

Centre director Andy Bradley said: "The arrival of a number of new retailers in the last year means that there are even more reasons than ever for people to do their Christmas shopping in Sunderland.

"Add that to the strong retail offer that already exists in the city and it all makes for an exciting and vibrant festive season.

"And Christmas wouldn’t be complete without our grotto, which has just opened with Santa already welcoming dozens of children into his new gingerbread-style house.”

And the centre is offering a range of added incentives to make the Bridges even more appealing to shoppers, with the return of its gift card promotion, which sees anyone who spends £100 during late night shopping receives a £10 gift card.

The Bridges already offers late night shopping every Thursday until 8pm and from December 12-23 this will be extended until 8pm on all week nights, with free parking from 5.30-9pm.

"With our gift card promotion, extended shopping hours and free parking at night, we are offering shoppers the chance to shop later and save money, and we hope to welcome visitors new and old to experience everything the Bridges has to offer this Christmas," said Mr Bradley.

For further information, full opening times and gift card terms and conditions, visit the website www.thebridges-shopping.com