THERE will be no festive fun in Castle Park this year as council bosses instead look to make the town centre look “more festive than ever”.

Council culture boss Tim Young said despite the success of the Demon Xtreme Ice Slide last year, members of the authority’s ruling cabinet have opted to focus on the town this year.

Although exact plans have not been finalised, there will be a number of Christmas trees dotted in the town centre while it is hoped there will be a number of community events organised alongside the newly-formed Business Improvement District committee.

The move is in a bid to bring more people into the town centre during the busy shopping month leading up to Christmas.

Mr Young said: “The issue has been discussed and it was thought the best thing to do was to focus our resources on the town centre and make it as festive as we possible can.

“We took a bit of flak last year for not having a Christmas tree for the town, so we have decided to remedy that.

“The problem has always been, Colchester is not a town which lends itself to a central point for a tree so you will see a number trees dotted around the town centre in places for people to enjoy.”

The Labour boss added: “We would also hope with the BID having been newly-formed it may want to make its presence felt in its first year.”

In 2015, independent businessman Ben Payne organised the Castle Park Winter Wonderland, which included an ice rink.

But the event was spoiled by unseasonably warm temperatures which led to the rink melting and the company which ran the event being liquidated.

In 2016, there were no events in the park but last year the council-backed ice slide proved to be a hit.

Mr Young said it was a straight choice between putting on an event in the park or focusing on the town centre.

He added: “We believe this is the best thing for the town.

“We are lucky in that we have so many community and voluntary groups and there is no shortage of carol events put on across the town so we hope Colchester will feel more festive than ever and hopefully town centre businesses will feel the benefits of it.

“Christmas is a time when we want people to be happy in the town and proud of their town.”