FESTIVE shoppers on their way to pick up their click and collect parcels may have found themselves doing a double-take as they passed the Market Place Shopping Centre.

For elves have been busy decorating a 20ft Christmas tree, which this year is being lit up in memory of loved ones.

Market Place Bolton is dedicating their outdoor festive tree to raise money for Bolton Hospice’s Light up a Life campaign.

A spokesman for the shopping centre said: “As we reflect on what has been a very difficult year for all of us, we hope Market Place’s Christmas tree and Light Up A Life will provide comfort to our Bolton community as we share our love for those who are ill or are no longer here with us.

“To help support Market Place and the hospice this Christmas, please make your donation and dedicate your light at boltonhospice.light-up-a-life.org.

"Each donation will be acknowledged with a personalised Light Up A Life card and your loved one’s name will appear in a special Light Up A Life edition of the Bolton News on December 16.

“If you’re passing by you may even see an elf or two making the final touches to the tree."

This year, Bolton Hospice will be staging a virtual service which will include performances from local choirs, traditional carols, readings, and a reflective moment of silence to remember loved ones no longer with us.

The Light Up A Life campaign is open for donations.

The Light Up A Life Christmas tree is now illuminated on the outdoor patio.

The spokesman for the shopping centre, which is temporary closed to shoppers due to current lockdown restrictions, said: “We are busy getting ready for Christmas and really hoping and looking forward to welcoming everyone back into the Market Place Centre in December.”