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Christmas in Bridgend 2017

With dark evenings drawing in, and Jack Frost nipping at our noses, there’s no denying that the Yuletide season is officially upon us.

Are you finding it hard to narrow down the Christmas festivities this year? There’s no need to get your tinsel in a tangle, as all the details of the local Christmas events in Bridgend can be found below. Don’t forget to make the most of our parking initiative, with 2 hours of free parking at The Rhiw.

For the latest updates, make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and tag your festive snaps with #YuleLoveBridgend.

Here’s what’s coming up…

Saturday 25th November

10.00am – 4pm Christmas Craft Market in Caroline Street

Start filling your loved ones’ stockings with local goodies

10.30am Santa Claus is coming to town
Before his sleigh makes its annual trip around the globe, Santa and his reindeer will fly into Bridgend Town Centre, making their way to Santa’s Grotto in Carnegie House, Wyndham Street.

10.30am – 3.00pm CF31 Christmas Stage, Corvo Lounge, Adare Street
Live entertainment from 10.30am

11.30am – 3.00pm Visit Santa’s reindeer in Wyndham Street
Come and say hello to Santa’s furriest friends before they make their way back to the North Pole.

12.00 – 4.00pm – Santa’s Grotto

4.15pm Christmas lights switch on – Barclays Bank, Dunraven Place

Watch the Christmas spirit take over the town as the lights twinkle for the light switch on. You’ll be in great company, as we’ll be joined by Father Christmas and 50 angels.

Saturday 2nd December

10.00am – 4.00pm Christmas Craft Market in Caroline Street

The Christmas market returns with another chance to tick off a few things on your shopping list.

10.00am – 4.00pm Santa’s Grotto

10.00am – 4.00pm Bridgend 1940’s Christmas Dunraven Place, Wyndham Street
A little bit of 1940s nostalgia comes to Bridgend, with stalls including 1940’s candle making, decorations and stocking making. There will also be live music, re-enactment groups, children’s crafts, exhibitions, and walks and talks.

Saturday 9th December

10.00am – 4.00pm Santa’s Grotto

11.00am – 2.00pm A White Christmas in Bridgend, Adare Street
Join us for some snowy, wintry magic on Adare Street. Climb inside a giant snowglobe and have your photo taken, watch the carving of a magical ice sculpture and enjoy the very best street entertainment, all for free! Snow flurries are forecast every hour, so come along for our very own White Christmas.

Santa’s Grotto – Book Tickets

Santa’s Grotto returns to Carnegie House this year with presents for everyone on the nice list.

SATURDAY 25 NOVEMBER, noon to 4pm
SATURDAY 2 DECEMBER, 10am to 4pm 
SATURDAY 9 DECEMBER, 10am to 4pm 
SATURDAY 16 DECEMBER, 10am to 4pm 

Ticket cost: £5 per child, which includes a visit to Santa, a photo opportunity plus a choice of gift.

There will also be:

  • Free craft tables and activities for little ones
  • Locally made Christmas gifts for sale

All proceeds of the Christmas Grotto will be distributed to local charities by the Bridgend Lions Club.

In partnership with Carnegie House

Free parking pilot launches in Bridgend

A free parking scheme is launching tomorrow (22 August) in Bridgend town centre in a bid to boost trade.

The first two hours of parking at the new Rhiw multi-storey car park is now free until the Spring.

The pilot scheme, made possible due to a grant from Welsh Government, is being run to see how much of an impact it has in attracting shoppers to the town centre.

Brought about by CF31 BID in association with Bridgend County Borough Council, it is hoped the initiative will increase visitor numbers by making the town centre a more attractive and accessible place to visit.

Councillor Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, added: “The Rhiw multi-storey is perfectly located for this pilot scheme, which will run through to the end of March 2018. If the free parking is seen to have had a positive effect on the town centre, we will then have to see whether the Welsh Government provide a further allocation for a free parking scheme to continue in 2018-19.”

Trader Steve Watkins from Watkins Menswear, said: “This is an excellent initiative to entice shoppers, old and new to visit the town centre. We know that people want to support their local town centre and market and this offer of two hours free parking gives them the opportunity to do just that, a great idea.”

The parking initiative is one of the first projects from CF31 BID after businesses in Bridgend town centre voted overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a Business Improvement District (BID).
CF31 BID invests funding raised from a levy of 1.25% of the total rateable value of businesses in the town centre back into a programme targeted specifically at improving the vibrancy of Bridgend town centre.

Justin Jenkins, manager of CF31 BID, said: “Bridgend is a wonderful town – well situated with an excellent transport network, a proud history and great local businesses. Yet like many town centres in Wales, it has seen a decline in retail spend and footfall, along with an increase in vacant properties in recent years, and that has affected us all.

“We are working hard to build a brighter future for Bridgend and improving parking and access is one area we are looking at. We’re delighted to launch this free parking pilot to see what impact it has. We’re hoping that residents and visitors will take full advantage of the initiative increasing footfall in the town centre.”

The parking incentive follows a spate of new openings in the town centre including café bar Corvo Lounge, gelato and dessert house Kaspa’s and Adi’s Dessert Bar.

The new Rhiw multi-storey opened in November and is part of a larger re-development project in the town centre. Coastal Housing is close to completion on its Cwrt Ty Afon mixed-use development, which includes new apartments and a retail unit. The old McDonalds is also soon to be demolished making way for 15 residential units and three ground floor retail units, while the development of the Gaylard Buildings on Court Road will offer another 15 residential units.

Relaxing Pedestrianisation – Town Centre Access Survey

The consultation regarding re-introducing traffic to Queen St, Dunraven Place and Market St in Bridgend town centre has been live since 8 August 2016 and will run until 24 October 2016.
Click the following link to view illustrative map of the route, Bridgend Relaxing Pedestrianisation Map Route.

A short survey has been created in order to gather the views of the public which is available online, (surveys can also be completed on computers, tablets and mobile devices), by clicking either of the following two links:

Click the following link for direct access to the Bridgend Town Centre Access survey
Bridgend Town Centre Access survey

Click the following link for background information with a link to the Bridgend Town Centre Access survey Background on Bridgend Town Centre access, (relaxing pedestrianisation), with link to the survey

Visitors and tourists can click the above links or visit to complete the survey online; alternatively a paper copy can be picked up to complete, from various town centre businesses.

Businesses can encourage town centre visitors to complete the survey online or alternatively, contact the council’s engagement team at: for hard copies to distribute.

All completed responses will be entered in a free prize draw to win a £100 gift voucher for events held at Porthcawl Pavilion and Maesteg Town Hall, terms and conditions apply.

Bridgend’s Summer Festival 2016

Due to the bad weather forecast for last Saturday, 20th of August, the summer festival was rescheduled to this coming Saturday, on the 27th of August. With the promise of much better weather, this means you can all look forward to a much brighter fun filled day. They’ll be something for all ages, from a stage with various live music, Jamaican BBQ, Skate ramp, and DJ Station, to Games, Sandpit, Inflatables, Punch and Judy and Face Painting.

The event, led by Justin Jenkins has been organised by Bridgend Traders Forum to provide a fun day to all Bridgend town visitors and families. So please do come along and support local Bridgend Businesses; help make it a really great day by spreading the word and joining in on the day. Below are two links to a poster with more details, which you can email to friends and family, customers and clients if your a business, or put up in your windows.

PDF version of poster: BRIDGEND’S SUMMER FESTIVAL 2016

JPEG version of poster: BRIDGEND’S SUMMER FESTIVAL 2016


Businesses in Bridgend have voted in favour of establishing a Business Improvement District in the town centre. This will mean over £480,000 will be invested into the town’s economy from the proceeds of the BID levy over the next three years.

The BID, which will be the twelfth in Wales, will go live in October and join more than 200 others that have been established across the UK.



Total number of votes cast in the ballot (excluding any votes given on ballot papers and rejected) 128
The aggregate rateable value of each hereditament in respect of which a person voted in the ballot (excluding rejected votes) 4,586,700
The total number of votes cast in favour of the question asked in the ballot 84
The aggregate rateable value of each hereditament in respect of which a person voting in the ballot has voted in favour of the question asked 3,094,200
Percentage of ratepayers who returned the ballot paper voting in favour of the proposal 65.6%
Percentage of the aggregate rateable value of each hereditament in respect of which a person voting in the ballot has voted in favour of the proposal 67%
Percentage of eligible ratepayers voting 37%


Uplifting and positive movements have been taking place behind the scenes.

Councillor Charles Smith, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, has informed the BID Steering Group of three significant dates. He wrote:
…we now have three significant dates…
(1) Tuesday 10 May, 2.30 pm, monthly formal Cabinet meeting (open to the public). A report is expected from officers to cabinet, inviting BCBC cabinet members to formally back the BID project.
(2) Thursday 19 May, quarterly meeting of BCBC town members and representatives of Bridgend Town Council. Cabinet members have decided that this is the appropriate forum to start placing the relaxing pedestrianisation consultancy report on town centre access into the public domain.
(3) Tuesday 7 June, 2.30 pm, monthly formal Cabinet meeting (open to the public). A report expected from officers to cabinet, outlining the options in the consultancy report, and proposing that we move to the next stage, i.e. public consultation.

Formal backing of the BID project from the council, (see point 1 above), should facilitate further improved communications with the council.

Ongoing BID Steering Group communications with BCBC successfully resulted in the relaxing pedestrinisation consultation process being initiated in August 2015. As you will have noticed in points 2 and 3 above, less than a year later, the process is now close to reaching the public consultation phase, during which businesses/traders and the public can make ones views known; this will be the best platform for businesses/traders to effectively and positively channel a case for the relaxing of pedestrianisation.

Following on from the last Steering Group meeting, positive movements have been developing with regards to a Free to access Public WiFi for Bridgend. With BCBC’s support, this will be at potentially zero cost to both a possible future BID, (existence of a future Bridgend BID is dependent on gaining a YES vote at ballot on June 30th 2016) and BCBC.
Some of the reasons why the BID Steering Group are working to achieve this include:

– enhanced town centre experience for visitors
– attracting visitors and increasing our town centre footfall
– encouraging visitors to stay in town longer and therefore spend more
– promoting town centre offers
– collecting useful marketing data to help us tailor and improve our town centre’s retail offers and services
– understanding visitor movement patterns through Bridgend to help us develop and improve our overall town usage
– attracting new businesses/traders into Bridgend
– to ensure we are technology and future ready
– generate BID income through business sponsorship
– it will provide Bridgend with an attractive selling point over neighbouring towns
– it will make Bridgend future ready

These are just a few of the ways in which the Bridgend BID Steering Group has been already working, to help lift Bridgend out of it’s same old declining economic spiral, by continuing to work for a better, happier, more successful, Bridgend town centre. To give a Bridgend BID the chance of working for you, vote YES on ballot day, June 30th 2016.

Update: Relaxing pedestrianisation in Bridgend town centre

Bridgend BID steering Group has been communicating with BCBC, (Bridgend County Borough Council), for the relaxation of pedestrainisation within Bridgend town centre combined with short stay parking bays for drops offs and click and collect. The proposed route for the relaxation is through Queen St., Dunraven Place and Market Street.
We were the first group highlighting to BCBC, the success this has achieved for trade/businesses in Pontypridd and how this can realistically be instigated within Bridgend.

In continuation from our November 2015 collaborative, BID Steering Group with BCBC, FREE AFTER THREE Parking scheme, many of you will be aware that progress is also taking place regarding relaxing pedestrianisation. Ongoing communications with BCBC successfully resulted in the relaxing pedestrinisation consultation process being initiated in August 2015. The Steering Group has subsequently been pushing for an order of events/timeline on this whole process, which was given by BCBC during January’s Steering Group meeting – click here for the minutes/details.

If a second phase is next approved, BCBC will have to seek additional funding from elsewhere to make the scheme viable. Although there is an ongoing process still taking place, by committing to this consultation process, BCBC is continuing to demonstrated a desire to listen, support and work towards improving our town centre.

Trial Free Parking After Three For Bridgend (Working together; a BID-SG & BCBC initiative)

Throughout the whole month of October 2015 and November 2015,
a Trail Free Parking After Three initiative is being run in Bridgend Town Centre, with the aim of attractive more afternoon trade for Bridgend businesses, at a the times oof day when trade has tended to taper off in town. Part of the thought process, but not exclusively, has been to incentivise and capture parents into town, on their way home from school runs.
This has come about as a collaborative Bridgend BID Steering Group and Bridgend County Borough Council initiative.


FREE AFTER 3 Leaflet (without map – in English)

FREE AFTER 3 Leaflet (without map – in Welsh)

(With maps of included car parks)

FREE AFTER 3 Leaflet (with map – in English)

FREE AFTER 3 Leaflet (with map – in Welsh)