FATHER Christmas arrived in Middlesbrough at the weekend to get the seasonal celebrations under way.

Santa took up residence in the Cleveland Shopping Centre, on Saturday, as part of an animated display based on the story of The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. He will be available to hear children's wishes until December 24.

There is also a post box in the centre's square where children can post letters to Santa, with everyone guaranteed a reply if they include their address.

Although there is no charge to see Father Christmas, donations will be accepted for the Teesside Rotary Club which helps various charities in the area.

Cleveland Centre manager David Ward said: "Traditionally visitors travel miles to see our Christmas grotto and so we work hard to make sure that every year is as good as the last.