TYLDESLEY's Christmas tree is set to be decorated on Thursday in time for the town's switch-on event on Saturday.

The tree has been criticised for its appearance on social media in the last week.

The living tree was installed as part of the guided busway improvements in 2015 and is still growing.

Tyldesley councillor Stephen Hellier said: “We are working together as a community in Tyldesley to make the town centre look festive and welcoming to residents and visitors.

“The tree is a living tree and yet to grow to its full height. We will be decorating it later this week and we are looking forward to welcoming the people of Tyldesley to a successful switch-on event

"This event is aimed at uniting the community in positivity and optimism going forward.

"It will promote what Tyldesley centre has to offer and showcase what can be achieved here.

"Nationally, town centres are in retreat. I believe Tyldesley town centre, however, with its strategic location on Greater Manchester’s only guided busway and by harnessing the spirit of local people, is well-placed to build a vibrant and successful future.”

It's not the first time, Tyldesley's Christmas tree has been criticised. 

In 2016 it was labelled the worst in the country which led to volunteers coming in to improve the area's decorations ahead of the 2017 switch-on. 

READ MORE HERE >  Community effort transforms Tyldesley Christmas lights

What's happening this year?

The switch-on event on Saturday will start at 2pm where there will be around 15 festive stalls set up.

Glenn "the Fish Man of Leigh Market" will also be on the square from 9am until mid-afternoon.

The lights will be switched on at 6pm by Leigh Centurions player Mickey Higham.

The decorations have been designed and provided by Alison Cottriall from Embrace Charity’s New2You shop.

The town's across the street lighting displays are also unique in the borough with decorative braids put on 16 street lamps which will also be lit up at 6pm.

Hudson’s Pet Supplies' Emma Fernandez said: “I hope people from across this area will join us at Tyldesley Square for this afternoon of festive fun.

"There will be ample opportunities for Christmas shopping in the range of outlets here and people may be surprised at the diversity of our retail offer in Tyldesley centre.

"Tyldesley businesses and local community groups have pulled together and worked tremendously hard to make this year’s Christmas switch-on an event to remember.”

How to get involved with the treasure hunt

A family movie-themed treasure hunt trail has been organised with shops in the town centre which will take visitors around the various stores with prizes up for grabs.

It is 50p to enter which is available from 180 Dance Centre on Elliott Street or on the square on the day.

Free tea and coffee will be provided by Tyldesley King’s Centre on the day.

The centre's Becky Fraser said: “We have been based here for many years and we are delighted to be supporting Tyldesley at this event.”

A range of offers from shops in the town will also be available.

Children will receive a free present from Father Christmas.

Church choirs from St Georges Central CE Primary School and Hindsford CE Primary School Primary School will also be performing at 5.30pm to bring festive cheer to residents.

Children from 180 Dance Centre will also be taking centre stage.

The Rotary Club of Tyldesley with Atherton's Julie Grundy said: “Our Santa’s sleigh is a familiar sight at this time of year and Father Christmas will start meeting children and distributing presents at 3.30 pm.”

Face painting will be available on the day too.