Largest illuminated Father Christmas in the UK comes to Plymouth

  • Watch Claire Manning's report on the largest illuminated Santa in the country

The largest illuminated Father Christmas statue in the country has arrived in Plymouth, where it will be on display throughout the festive season.

The five-metre-high sculpture has more than 10,000 eco-friendly lights and was put on display in The Parade on the city's waterfront on 29 November.

Known as Mr Kriss, the statue has been brought to Plymouth to increase trade at shops, cafes and restaurants around the Barbican.

Jon Walton, CEO of Plymouth Watership Partnership, which is behind the scheme, said: “We’re affectionately calling our visiting illuminated Santa, Mr Kriss, but we’re open to any other suggestions the people of Plymouth may have when they see him – let us know!”

The aluminium sculpture is also five metres wide, meaning he takes up a footprint of nearly 40sqm. Next to him stands a three-metre high post box, with a special light to signal when mail is on its way to the North Pole - so people are being encouraged to bring their letters for Father Christmas.

The statue is accompanied by a giant post box, to ensure children's letters to Father Christmas make it on time.

Jon added: "We can’t wait to see the ‘Santa Selfies’ and photos that visitors take with him.

"We’d encourage anyone coming to see Mr Kriss to take some time to explore the rest of the Barbican and waterfront whilst they’re here – to support our many local businesses, cafes, restaurants and shops and soak up the festive spirit in our historic quarter.”

Kim Downer, from the partnership, told ITV West Country: "We wanted to have something in this area of the parade to attract the visitors, get the kids excited about Christmas and obviously, we've got the post box next to it - quite handy for the kids to post their letters to the North Pole.

"Mr Kriss, he's 10,000 LED lights, and he just looks amazing. And we've kept him warm with a scarf - an Argyle scarf"

The statue is free to visit and will be on display in Plymouth until about a week after Christmas.