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Coventry’s Winter Wishes campaign highlighting more than 200 festive Covid-safe events is giving the city a boost – in more ways than one.

Published: Thursday, 16 December 2021

Winter Wishes - Shop

Organisations across Coventry have teamed up for the Winter Wishes campaign to showcase what’s on this Christmas until January 9 – with adult visitors able to boost their protection against Covid.

This weekend, people aged 16+ can ‘Grab a Jab’ at a NHS pop-up clinic in Broadgate in Coventry city centre (December 18 and 19) as they do their festive shopping.

Popular family attractions have so far included a virtual reality sleigh ride at West Orchards Shopping Centre and a vintage sleigh ride at the Coventry Transport Museum – which have both now sold out. A New Year’s Eve Casino Royale Ball at Coombe Abbey is another sell-out event.

Other highlights still available to book include:

  • Coventry Glides – a scenic ice-skating rink set within Coventry Cathedral ruins, which recently featured on ITV’s Good Morning Britain – has sold more than 15,000 tickets, but still has availability for a number of slots over the festive period (until January 9 2022).
  • The 2021 Turner Prize exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – the first time the show has taken place in the Midlands.
  • Beauty and the Beast - The Belgrade Theatre’s Christmas pantomime until January 8, 2022.
  • Luminate Coombe – an illuminated one-mile winter light trail around Coombe Country Park (until December 24) as well as Go Ape Sundown sessions.
  • The Snowman tour and The Future is Bright New Year’s Eve family rave at Coventry Cathedral.
  • FarGo Village’s Christmas 2021 programme.

Late-night shopping and exhibition events, plus free car-parking every Wednesday until December 22, are another draw*. With new Plan B restrictions now approved in Parliament, face coverings are compulsory in more indoor public places such as museums and galleries.

There has been an increased footfall across the city centre, providing a significant boost to businesses.

More than 100,000 shoppers have visited West Orchards Shopping Centre in the city centre each week leading up to Christmas.

Paul Jones, Managing Director of Destination Coventry, said: “It’s been wonderful to work with so many great Coventry businesses on our Winter Wishes campaign, which highlights the huge array of amazing things to see and do in the city over the festive period.

“Our message has reached hundreds of thousands of people within an hour’s drive of the city, spreading the word that Coventry is the place to be this Christmas.

“While we’re encouraging visitors to stay safe, follow Government guidelines and take care of each other, we also want them to know that our shops, restaurants, bars, hotels and visitor attractions are open for business and delivering a magical festive experience this Christmas.”

Coventry BID Director Trish Willetts said: “Seeing Coventry showcased on a national scale via the Winter Wishes campaign has been wonderful and reminded all of us - and the nation - exactly what our city has achieved despite a difficult two years.

"We headed into this golden quarter hopeful that it would provide a much-needed boost for all the businesses. The current situation remains challenging, but we’re confident that our business community is doing everything it can to ensure shopping in Coventry and any festive events in the city are as safe as possible.

"We’re constantly evaluating the situation and continue to make decisions on a daily basis to make sure we’re keeping people safe. We join other organisations in encouraging people to get their Covid booster and helping make sure we can all stay safe this festive period."

To see what events are happening in Coventry during the festive period visit www.VisitCoventry.co.uk/Christmas

The ‘Grab a Jab’ NHS pop-up in Broadgate will be open on Saturday, December 18, 10am–4pm and Sunday, December 19, 11am–4pm, offering boosters, first doses and second doses for ages 16+. Book your vaccination at www.nhs.co.uk or by calling 119.

*In addition to the weekly free parking, people will also be able to park for free in all council carparks on Sunday, December 19. This offer is valid between the hours of (08:00 -18:00).

In the week before Christmas, people can park for free after 3pm until 9pm in all council carparks. This offer begins on Monday December 20.

Images are available here

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