A REVIVED shopping arcade in Winchester city centre will be showcasing its independent businesses with a new festival.

The inaugural Kings Walk Festival will have discounts, workshops, live music and food, celebrating the arcade’s eclectic blend of shops on Saturday, September 30.

Winchester City Council recently made £385,000 of upgrades to Kings Walk, with a newly-painted exterior, improved lighting, an illuminated sign and trees providing a backdrop to the festivities.

The new courtyard garden will be the focal point and a place to enjoy some live lunchtime jazz.

READ MORE: Kings Walk shop owners give their views on completed refurbishment

Craft businesses will be hosting free workshops throughout the day. Design Junction is running pottery and tufting sessions and staff at The Well Worn will help visitors make a Sashiko stitch patch or mend their favourite denims.

Meanwhile, at BellaCrafts festival goers can try Indian block printing while children can enjoy crown decorating and budding young performers can join workshops at the Nutshell Theatre.

Hampshire Chronicle: Kings Walk business owners ahead of their first festivalKings Walk business owners ahead of their first festival (Image: Miranda Rock)

Shoppers will be able to make the most of discounts at Polka Dot Piercing and Sunflowers Emporium and try a free Pilates class at Winchester Pilates at midday.

The King Walk cafés will be serving some special festival treats. South Downs Social will host a BBQ and craft beer bar on its terrace, complete with DJs and live music. Open House Deli will have an outside bar and free tasty samples from local producers. BellaCrafts will also have goodies on offer in its tea rooms.

The resident businesses have welcomed the recent upgrades. As well as the courtyard garden, improvements have been made to lighting, signage and décor making the area more welcoming.

Additionally, the revamped seating outside The South Downs Social and Open House Deli provides an alfresco dining spot in the heart of the city centre.

SEE ALSO: Play cafe for young kids and parents opens at home of former pre-school

Victoria McClure of BellaCrafts said: "It's been brilliant to see the positive changes taking place and we are really excited to be building relationships and collaborating with the talented business owners on our doorstep."

Councillor Martin Tod, leader of Winchester City Council said: “I'm so pleased that the businesses are putting on this event.  We've worked with them to plan our refurbishment of the building and make it a vibrant and attractive space, but ultimately, it's the businesses themselves that make all the difference.

“We're really ambitious for this part of the city as we work on the Central Winchester Regeneration programme. It's great to be taking another step along that journey.”

Steve Brine MP said: “I think many of us struggle to believe we shall see Silver Hill redeveloped in our lifetimes so this incremental change is more important than ever.

"I’ve spoken out about the state of this part of the city centre and picked up many of the issues facing traders there so it’s really nice to see it arrive at this place and the festival is a really positive way to mark that.”

Kings Walk Festival will be open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, September 30. The first 250 visitors will receive a free Kings Walk tote bag.

The event has been supported by Winchester BID, Partnership Places, Jigsaw and Winchester City Council.