INTU Merry Hill will be hosting a virtual Christmas lights switch-on this weekend to help spread festive cheer to families across the Black Country amid the second coronavirus national lockdown.

As expected this year, the continuing Covid-19 crisis has made it impossible for the shopping centre to host its traditional festive switch-on which usually attract thousands of people.

Instead - the shopping centre's Christmas lights will be lit up from Sunday evening (November 15) and a magical video showpiece will go live on the mall's social media channels at 6pm which people can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Staff at the shopping centre have worked with Birmingham-based film production company Spark Media and the local community, including Russell’s Hall Hospital and the Black Country Living Museum, to create the heart-warming, two-minute video which follows a Christmas star as it travels across the borough – controlled by Santa as he tries to help remind a little girl of the magic of Christmas.

The illuminated star flies over landmarks, including Dudley Castle, Russell’s Hall Hospital and The Waterfront before it enters intu Merry Hill where it lands on top of the Christmas tree to light up the mall.

Stourbridge News:

Duncan Burns, marketing manager at intu Merry Hill, said: “We know that for many, the annual Christmas lights switch-on event at intu Merry Hill has been a longstanding tradition. That’s why we wanted to bring a sense of festive cheer to the local community with a virtual alternative that everyone can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own homes.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took part in the making of the video, especially the nurses from Russell’s Hall Hospital, who continue to be there for us all when we need them the most.

“We’re asking everyone to continue to play their part and would like to remind our shoppers who are visiting the centre for essential products or services over the next few weeks to wear face coverings, keep their hands clean, following marked routes and to keep their distance at all times."