Controversial Santa's Grotto is 'more family-friendly'
- Credit: Danielle Booden
The organiser of a controversial drive-thru Santa's Grotto has said major improvements have been made - and hopes to hold the event every year.
Among complaints were two-hour traffic queues and 'creepy' characters which scared children.
Organiser Ollie George said coverage of the production, which hit national headlines, was "fair".
He added: "There were some major teething issues from the very start, to do with access on the site and also customers arriving at the wrong times, which wasn't helping traffic flow on the site.
"I think the coverage was fair. If the access issues had been resolved before we opened I don't think we would have received anywhere near as much negative publicity as we did get."
Mr George said he had taken criticism onboard and has made sweeping changes which have "turned the production around."
This includes the removal of the 'scary' Scrooge character, who has now been replaced by a head elf.
Mr George said: "We changed the three ghosts and turned them into three wise men, so it's much more family-friendly and the feedback from that was fantastic.
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"We've also added more dance routines into the production, as we found families enjoyed those the most."
Overall, Mr George said he was "grateful" for the early feedback.
He added: "It's a shame that it got off to a bad start but feedback is really important for all our productions. The customers are our eyes and ears out there and they're the ones booking tickets in the future.
"The negative coverage that it did receive is sad, but I think in all honesty it made it a better production going forward, and we know not to make those mistakes again."
Mr George said he hoped to have a version of the production every year.
He added: "We may tweak it next year - it might not be a drive-thru as no-one knows what the circumstances will be."