Batley arcade transformed into winter wonderland

BBA students and Creative Scene have built a Winter Wonderland in the Alfreds' Way shopping centre in Batleycentre in time for a Christmas Fair. Harrelson Varley.(D552B449)
BBA students and Creative Scene have built a Winter Wonderland in the Alfreds' Way shopping centre in Batleycentre in time for a Christmas Fair. Harrelson Varley.(D552B449)

An empty shopping arcade was transformed to have a glittering festive feel for the Batley Christmas Fair at the weekend.

Santa’s grotto, more than 20 stalls, free art workshops and live entertainment from Axial Dance and others brightened up Alfreds’ Way on Saturday.

Batley Business Association (BBA) chairman Andrew Marsden said: “It was so nice to see that part of Batley full of people again.

“For too long the arcade has been empty, used only as a thoroughfare. Hopefully this event is something that can be built on and we will begin to see the space used more often.”

Organisers from the BBA worked with Creative Scene and Batley School of Art students, who made special laser-cut snowflake decorations which were placed above store fronts, to open up the centre off Commercial Street.

Richard Holling, curriculum team leader at Batley School of Art, said: “Any time our students get to work on live briefs and professional projects like this is an invaluable experience.” The decorations were also on sale to raise funds for next year’s Christmas lights switch-on, for which £500 made, and Kirkwood Hospice.

The BBA thanked volunteers and performers, as well as Community First, Santander, Tesco, Creative Scene, Kirklees College and Iceland for helping with the event.