Christmas all GO! in city centre

Although Christmas might look a little different this year, GO! Southampton is getting ready for visitors return by sprinkling some festive joy and installing two giant Christmas trees in the city centre.

The city’s Business Improvement District (BID) has invested in two Christmas trees both fitted out with lights and decorations. One 25ft tree sits proudly in front of the Bargate whilst another 14ft tree is situated on the newly pedestrianised area of Bedford Place.

The trees have been installed alongside the fantastic Christmas lights across the city centre, which are co-funded by GO! Southampton and Southampton City Council. The BID will also be installing additional lighting on Bedford Place, to help further animate the area and encourage customers to utilise the outdoor spaces over the festive period.

Instead of the usual Christmas Light Switch On event which couldn’t take place this year due to national COVID restrictions, GO! Southampton hopes that the trees and lights will give an extra Christmassy feel for visitors and residents who are coming back to the city centre post-lockdown.

The BID team will also be launching a Christmas campaign next week via Visit Southampton, the official destination website for the city, run and managed by GO! Southampton and Southampton City Council. The campaign will highlight festive promotions and events that businesses have on offer as well as safety measures that have been put in place. 

Plus, there’s still plenty to look forward to this year across Southampton including an exciting COVID-secure event in Bedford Place on 11 December, which will be promoted in the Christmas campaign.

These Christmas activities form part of a wider BID recovery plan to create a safer, cleaner and more exciting city to visit in the coming months.

GO! Southampton is contributing to the Mayflower 400 ‘Giving Thanks’ campaign through five short films recently commissioned from City Eye. These ‘Heroes of Hope’ videos shine a spotlight on just a few of the many people who have made a positive contribution to the city in response to the pandemic.

Giles Semper, Executive Director of GO! Southampton said: “Christmas celebrations are far from being on-hold and we see no reason why the city can’t keep its festive spirits up.

“Creating the right environment is the first step to encouraging people back into the shops and restaurants – and, with two giant trees standing in two prominent areas of Southampton, the Christmas spirit is hard to avoid.

“Even though we won’t be holding our traditional Christmas light switch on this year, there is still plenty to get excited about. It’ll also be a brilliant opportunity to shine a spotlight on the city’s high street while boosting trade in local shops, bars and restaurants.”