CALA Homes has announced it is sponsoring this year’s Winchester Christmas Lights spectacular, to be held Thursday evening.

The house builder, which has started constructing the 2,000-home development on Barton Farm, has donated £5,000.

The official switch-on of the lights takes place in The Broadway with an outdoor ceremony and DJs from The Breeze 107FM.

They will host an evening of performers including the cast of Cinderella Christmas pantomime, St Bede School’s Children’s Choir and Winnall Rock School.

The main attraction will be popular country music duo Ward Thomas, performing at 6.30pm.

On Friday Winchester Cathedral ice rink and Christmas market will be opened.

Catherine Turness, executive director of Winchester Business Improvement, who organises the switch-on, said: “We are extremely grateful for CALA Homes’ support of this year’s Christmas Lights Switch On which has helped us secure some fantastic performers and make the event even bigger and better than previous years.

“The Winchester Christmas Market celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and is now recognised as one of the best in Europe, bringing thousands of tourists to the city each year. The light switch on is a fantastic way to kick off the celebrations, we welcomed more than 10,000 people to last year’s event and look forward to seeing even more this year.”

The donation by CALA Homes, which is building the new Barton Farm development, now known as Kings Barton; is part of its commitment to support the local community in Winchester.

Alison Deakin, sales and marketing director at CALA Homes Thames, said: “We are delighted to be the main sponsor of this year’s Christmas Lights and support the local community with what is such a significant event in Winchester’s calendar. We are proud to be a part of the celebrations and hope that everyone has a very enjoyable evening.”