It's business as usual - but Santathon is cancelled

By Tim Clarke Thursday 29 November 2012 Updated: 29/11 17:23

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Buy photos » The flooding of Worcester Racecourse has forced the cancellation of this weekend's Santathon. Picture by Marcus Mingins 4812015MMR1. Order this picture at www.buyphotos247.

'IT'S BUSINESS as usual' - that was the message from traders in Worcester this week amid concerns the recent flooding has kept shoppers away.

Some businesses believe people have been deterred from visiting the city centre despite most of Worcester escaping the worst of the floods with no reports of homes being flooded.

But with the Victorian Christmas Fayre set to draw thousands of visitors to the city this weekend, traders are hoping shoppers who have decided to stay away will return in their droves.

Erica Burlace, manager of the CrownGate Shopping Centre said: “Worcester is fortunate in having extensive water meadows around the city which have not been built on which means that although the river is in flood, the city centre has not been affected and all of our shops and the car park are open as normal.

"Only a handful of staff have not been able to get to work, but that is because of the flooding in their home areas rather than in Worcester."

John Kendrick, the manager of Cathedral Plaza added: "It has to be a really severe flood for us to stop trading in Worcester. We have around 500 shops in the city centre from independent gift shops and fashion boutiques to major multiples and everyone is open for business.”

One event which has been affected is the annual Santathon in aid of Worcester-based charity Leukaemia Care which was due to take place this Sunday but has been cancelled with Worcester Racecourse still under water.

Up to 500 runners clad in Santa outfits were expected to take on the 5k fun run which is the charity's biggest fund-raising event.

Helen Whatmore, Leukaemia Care’s fund-raising team leader, said: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who signed up to the event and we apologise for inconvenience caused by this decision.”

People who would still like to fund-raise for the charity can pop along in their Santa suit to City Gym on Sunday at 9am and complete their sponsored 5k on a treadmill, rowing machine, exercise bike or cross trainer.

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