UTTOXETER'S Christmas Cracker Night is set to be bigger and better than ever as council chiefs give the go-ahead for fairground attractions on a town car park for three days.
East Staffordshire Borough Council granted the Uttoxeter Lions Club permission to close the Trinity Road car park on December 9, 10 and 11 for the rides to support the annual event which sees residents flock to the town centre.
The Cracker Night will be held on the Thursday as in previous years with the fairground attractions available for the extra two nights.
In the past small rides have been on the streets but some traders have said they would like to see them moved.
The council said: “The relocation of the fair would mean that Cracker Night could place more emphasis on late night shopping and street entertainment.
It would also allow more space for charitable fundraising stalls.” Lion’s spokesman Gary Hudson said it is the first year the organisation has moved the fairground to the car park and it will provide more room for the stalls and charitable organisations.
He said: “Moving the fairground will enable us to use the space in the town centre for the traditional Cracker Night attractions.
“I think it will suit traders more as it will give them the opportunity to take advantage of the crowds.
“It will be the first year we try it so we will see what happens and will get feedback from the traders.
“The council is very supportive of Cracker Night in terms of the facilities and co-operation “They have been nothing but supportive.” It has also been seen as a positive move by Uttoxeter’s mayor David Brookes and David Hunter, owner of Indulgence and chairman of the Uttoxeter Trade Forum.
Councillor Brookes said: “I applaud the Lions for their hard work.
“It is a short term inconvenience for something that adds value to life in Uttoxeter. I give credit to the Lions as they have a go and do these community functions.
“Without the Lions and other community organisations we would not have anything in the town, they are wonderful volunteers.
“I hope everyone comes along and supports this event.” David Hunter said traders in Trinity Square and other car parks in the town will benefit from more people visiting for the Christmas attraction.
“It’s brilliant news,” said Mr Hunter. “I think that it’s great because it is going to increase footfall in Trinity Square and therefore help the butchers and bakers down there.
“The fact it is over three nights is going to bring people into the town. The Thursday night will have the market traders and Christmas stalls which will bring people walking through the town centre.
“It is going to bring more people into the town and through Trinity Square who would not normally go through.
“There are still plenty of car parking spaces with the Carter Street car park which is under-used and the massive Fairfield car park.”