It’s the ‘great’ Britten Centre in Lowestoft

IT has been at 'the hub' of shopping in Lowestoft's bustling town centre since 1987.

And with more than 100,000 sq ft of space, the Britten Shopping Centre is gearing up for a busy Christmas.

With The Journal's Shop Local for Christmas campaign being run in association with the Britten Centre, their manager Daniel Poitras this week sent out a rallying call to townsfolk to back local businesses in the build-up to Christmas.

Boasting 19 retailers, which can all be found under one Victorian style roof, the centre aims to provide shoppers with a safe and enjoyable shopping experience in the heart of Lowestoft's retail centre.

The Centre includes BHS, Card Factory, QD, Evans, Iceland, Mothercare, Superdrug, Goldmark Jewellers, GAME and many more stores, which cater for everyone.

'We want to get more people back into the town centre – we don't want them going out to retail parks or to Norwich, which is why the Lowestoft Town Management Partnership and the Britten Centre support the Journal campaign,' Mr Poitras said.

'We have all the general retail stores you will find elsewhere right on your doorstep - The Britten Centre is right in the middle of the town's shopping centre, which makes us the hub of shopping within Lowestoft.

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'It is starting to get busy and we've had some nice footfall this week,' Mr Poitras said.

With a 330 space multi-storey car park, the town's library, the main bus station and all the major amenities nearby, the centre is open every day.

'We are working in partnership with the Lowestoft Town Management Partnership and district council to organise free parking on Thursdays from November 25 after 4pm and on Saturday's, after 2pm, on December 4, 11 and 18,' he said.

'On November 25, the Christmas lights switch-on is in conjunction with the town centre, as it marks the start of Thurday night 'Late Night Shopping' as The Britten Centre opens until 7pm.

'We will have arts and crafts that local hobbyists are selling to start the festive season in style. On December 11, Father Christmas will be at the Britten Centre to visit and between December 20 and 23 – to help with that last-minute shopping for Christmas – the Britten Centre will be open until 8pm, with free parking available after 4pm.'

Admitting that as the Britten Centre manager, he was 'looking forward' to Christmas, sending out a special goodwill message to shoppers, Mr Poitras said: 'It brings back the time of joy to me. It is great to see the smiles on kids faces. It's a time for sharing and the chance to tell that special someone that you care.'

To this end, the Britten Centre will be decked out with traditional red and gold decorations, with special tree chandaliers hanging down from the centre of the roof.

'The hope is to give people that warm feeling so they can reminisce over the old times,' Mr Poitras said.

And as for the Shop Local campaign, he was hopeful that the �1,000 lucky winner would hail from the centre.

'People are starting to take it on and we've already had some commitment from individual shops within the Britten Centre - and I hope all of them will take part in this campaign,' Mr Poitras said. 'Hopefully one of the local winners will come from the Britten Centre – as it is an excellent opportunity, and �1,000 will make a really nice Christmas present.'