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Home sweet home for Notcutts’ Santa as he returns after fire-hit grotto is rebuilt

PUBLISHED: 15:41 07 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 December 2017

The fire which destroyed Santa's grotto at Notcutts garden centre last weekend

The fire which destroyed Santa's grotto at Notcutts garden centre last weekend

(c) copyright newzulu.com

Santa Claus will be making a welcome return to a Suffolk garden centre tomorrow – less than a week after a fierce fire destroyed his Christmas grotto.

Youngsters watched in tears last weekend as the blaze tore through a marquee at Notcutts in Woodbridge.

Santa and his elves were not in the grotto at the time and the garden centre owners said no-one was hurt in the incident.

This week Notcutts has been clearing away the debris and cleaning up after the fire, and working hard to build a special new home for Father Christmas and his team, ready to welcome him back.

Darren Brooks, centre manager at Notcutts Woodbridge, said: “We look forward to welcoming Santa back to the garden centre this weekend and we would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding during this time.

“We didn’t want to disappoint any young visitors who were looking forward to meeting Santa, so we have all been working hard to build Santa and his elves a new festive area here at Notcutts.”

Santa will be at Notcutts garden centre on Ipswich Road in Woodbridge until Christmas Eve and all pre-booked visits will go ahead as planned.

The venue has a full programme of “Santa experiences”, including ones where where children can meet him face-to-face over breakfast or tea.

Firefighters were called to the grotto at around 3.30pm on Sunday, December 3.

Flames and smoke billowing from a marquee could be seen right across the riverside town – including the annual street fair in the Thoroughfare, where thousands were browsing the stalls.

Mr Brooks and his colleagues followed all safety protocols and evacuated everyone from the area swiftly and safely.

A thorough investigation has been taking place into the circumstances of the fire.

Two fire engines, from Woodbridge and Ipswich East station, were sent to the scene.

Paramedics from the East of England Ambulance service were also sent to the garden centre, although they were not required to treat anyone.

Customers with any queries about pre-booked tickets can contact Notcutts’ customer care on 0344 879 4166 or email customercare@notcutts.co.uk.

A number of schools have already announced plans to close across Suffolk and north Essex this morning after snowy weather hit the region.

Snow lovers will be delighted to hear that Suffolk and Essex could be getting a second flurry of the white stuff later today.

The parents of a six-year-old boy, who died from Meningitis B, are campaigning for a vaccination programme to be rolled out to all children.

Motorists are being warned of disruption on the region’s roads this morning as snow turns into ice following a weekend wintry blast.

Kesgrave High School will be closed today after a major power failure.

Multi-platinum selling artist Craig David has been announced as the first act for next year’s Newmarket Nights.

Residents will be asked for their views on a potential merger between the district councils of Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

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