SANTA'S future might be in doubt in other parts of the country, but at Halton Lea Shopping Centre he is thank-fully alive and well.
The man in red will be perched on his usual throne in the main square of the shopping centre on Saturday - and has a wealth of presents up for grabs.
But this would not have been the case if the borough had followed the lead of towns like Birmingham, where Santa Claus has been knocked off the Christmas list.
And he is even being banned from major shopping centres, with a monthly traders' magazine calling the yearly tradition of holding a grotto a 'dying trend.'
But Santa is certainly not banned in Halton.
Heather Rowson, marketing director, said: 'The grotto is being set up at the moment and will be open to customers this weekend.
'I know that Santa is being cancelled out by a lot of shopping centre managers at the moment, but we want to keep with tradition.
'We want to give our regular customers what they have come to expect.
'Other towns seem to be swapping Santa for the idea of celebrities who make an appearance to switch on the lights, but we think that just kills the idea of Christmas.
'We want the children to be happy about getting their presents and seeing what Christmas is really all about.'
This year's Christmas grotto at Halton Lea will be the biggest and best yet.
There will be a simulated sleigh ride and children will be greeted at the door by life-size animated figures.
The final stage of the tour sees youngsters entering into a grand castle for toys and a Christmas chat with Santa. Doors open from 10am to 5pm every day until Christmas Eve.
Sunday opening hours are from 10.30am to 4.30pm.