FESTIVE cheer will be in abundance at Barrow Raiders this year with hopes to create the town's biggest Christmas choir.

A number of events are set to take place over the following months although some plans have had to be 'knocked on the head'.

Plans for an ice rink and Christmas markets have unfortunately been cancelled due to 'too much risk', according to chairman Steve Neale.

The risk comes from damage to the pitch over the weekend caused by wet weather and questions over the financial viability of the plans.

He said: "The cost of the ice rink was a massive risk to us. It was over £10,000 and we weren't sure we would get a return on our investment. It would be a really nice thing to do but at the end of the day we have to be financially stable, so we couldn't justify it. And with the markets there wouldn't be much return for us. We are not expecting market traders to give a great deal of money just to be there because they have their own money to make."

Despite the cancellations, a whole host of entertainment will still be continuing at the site.

Mr Neale said: "We are planning a really big carol service on December 17th. We have been in touch with local churches and there are around 12 signed up at the moment, including the Salvation Army.

"We have a big screen and we are going to put the words of the hymns on it so people can join in. Hopefully we will get a couple thousand people turning up to celebrate Christmas.

"We are not looking to make masses of money. It's a community event that will be free to get in but there will be things like mulled wines and hot chocolates."

There will also be Christmas parties in the marquee area, taking place in the last weekend of November and the first two weekends of December.

Mr Neale said: "We are just investing in the hiring of some really nice tables, chairs, drapes and chandeliers and it will be really nicely done out. There will be a DJ and entertainment on then. It's another venue for businesses to book their Christmas nights out."

The party on December 3 will exclusively be for children and their families, with Santa paying a visit.