THE countdown to Christmas has begun at intu Merry Hill with the centre's festive lights now switched on and sparkling.

Due to the continuing Covid-19 crisis - intu hosted a virtual lights switch-on yesterday evening (Sunday November 15) to help spread festive cheer to families across the Black Country during the national lockdown.

The lights were switched on at 6pm and a heart-warming video showpiece went live on the mall's social media channels.

Staff at the shopping centre worked with Birmingham-based film production company Spark Media to create the two-minute video which follows a Christmas star as it travels across the borough – flying over landmarks including Dudley Castle, Russell’s Hall Hospital and The Waterfront before entering intu Merry Hill where it lands on top of the Christmas tree to light up the mall.

A spokesman for intu Merry Hill said: “We’ve been humbled by the response from the local community and are pleased that we could bring some festive cheer to families across the Black Country and beyond.

"We’d like to thank everyone who tuned in to support us and watch the video on Sunday and for those who have yet to see it, the film will continue to feature on our Facebook page throughout the holiday season.”