City centre festive shoppers can take advantage of later opening hours following next Wednesday's Christmas lights switch on.

The extended hours will be complemented by free parking on selected car parks, days and times.

Wolverhampton City Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for economic regeneration and prosperity Councillor Peter Bilson said: "We are gearing up for a really busy period in the city centre in the run up to Christmas so it is important that we support shoppers and our traders. Working with our partners in the city centre, we are making sure people have the greatest amount of flexibility when they shop. We are also offering free parking on selected days and so we hope as many people as possible come into the city to enjoy the festivities."

Shops will be open until 9pm on switch on day next Wednesday 26 November and then until 9pm each Wednesday until 17 December. On Saturday 6 December opening will be extended until 6pm and until 7pm on Saturday 13 December and Saturday 20 December. Stores will be open until 8pm on 15, 16, 18 and 19 December and until 9pm on Monday 22 December and Tuesday 23 December.

On Sundays shops will be open from 10am until 4.30pm. Christmas Eve opening times will be 8am to 5pm and on Boxing Day from 8am to 5.30pm. Normal store opening hours will return afterwards other than on New Year's Day, which will see stores open from 10.30am to 4.30pm. On late night shopping evening, the Mander Centre and Beatties car park will be free for cars entering after 3pm.

With thousands of people expected to attend the city's Christmas lights switch on event next Wednesday 26 November, free parking will be available at the School Street car park from 3pm. Fold Street car park will be free each Sunday throughout December before Christmas (7, 14 and 21 December) and every Wednesday for the late night shopping evenings for entry after 3pm. In addition, Fold Street will be free on Monday 22 December and Tuesday 23 December for entry after 3pm.

For full details of late night shopping and free parking visit Type=links;Linkid=4822;Title=WVOne Christmas;Target=_blank;.

The lights switch on event starts at 5pm in Market Square with a mini market and funfair. The highlight of the fun packed evening will be the switch on at 6.30pm with fireworks to follow. People can find out more about the switch on at Type=links;Linkid=4810;Title=Wolves Civic - Christmas;Target=_blank;.

Some shops may not be open late, may open earlier or trade at alternative times, so people should check individual store times to avoid disappointment.

  • released: Thursday 20 November, 2014