TWO Workington children helped Santa open his grotto at a town's shopping centre.

Santa Claus arrived at Dunmail Park on Friday and officially opened his grotto thanks to help from 9-year-old Mirianthi Celeste Demetriou and William Mclean seven.

The Ashfield Junior School pupils were the winners of the shopping centre’s Christmas tree design competition.

Also joining Father Christmas to mark the celebrations were tap-dancing turkeys, rockin’ robins, Santa’s elves, Christmas stilt walkers, local cheerleaders from Allstar Factory and the Girls Brigade.

As well as helping Santa open his grotto, Mirianthi and William also each received a £100 voucher to spend at Toy Town and Ashfield Junior School received a donation of £100.

Donald Dixon, Managing Director of J Dixon & Son Ltd, owners of Dunmail Park, said: "We’re delighted to welcome Father Christmas back to Dunmail Park shopping centre. It’s such a magical time of the year for young children and it was wonderful to see their excited faces during our Christmas launch event; it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who attended."

Santa’s Grotto is being run by the West Cumberland Lions Club. It is now open between 10.30am and 6pm every Saturday until Christmas and 11am and 4pm each Sunday.

It will also be open between 1pm and 6pm on Friday December 21 and 10.30am and 3.30pm on Christmas Eve. The grotto costs £3 to visit and every child will receive a gift.