T'isn't the season - but a brand new community group is calling for ideas to help plan a Christmas extravaganza in Weymouth this year.

Weymouth Community Christmas Committee is getting a head start on planning something very special for the town, organisers say, and their priority now is to gather as many ideas as possible.

There's no time like the Christmas present, however - because the deadline to put forward suggestions is this Friday February 22.

Ideas can be submitted on the 'Weymouth Community Christmas Committee' Facebook page, or posted in suggestion boxes at the Palm House Café, and at Fantastic Sausage Factory in the town centre, or at the BID offices in Hope Square.

The committee is a community project, set up by Nigel Sims-Duff, who owns the Palm House Café, and supported by Weymouth Lions Club and Weymouth BID.

Organisers say they are particularly keen to hear from school children, as well as residents and businesses.

"As a father of five, I wanted to start something positive for Weymouth at Christmas time that will put a smile on people's faces," said Mr Sims-Duff, chair of the community Christmas committee.

"We want to make sure residents stay in Weymouth to enjoy a festive atmosphere, rather than heading for Dorchester or Bournemouth.

"This project is about the whole town getting involved -  we have representatives from the council and local churches on board, and we're reaching out to schools and community centres to make sure people of all ages have their say."

A few ideas put forward so far include a traditional Christmas market and tunnels of lights through the town centre.

Claudia Webb, who is chief operations officer of Weymouth BID, and is also representing the Christmas committee, said ideas will be voted on at a public meeting, which is being held on Saturday February 23 at the Palm House Café, from 9am. The best suggestions will win a very special mystery prize.

"Everyone is invited to attend next week's meeting - residents and businesses alike - we want as many people as possible in the community to have their say", she said.

"We're also very keen to hear from anyone who would be interested in volunteering to join the Christmas committee.

"The committee couldn't have asked for a better turnout at our last meeting - council representatives and even panto stars came along.

"As well as planning events and fixtures to be enjoyed during December, we'd also like to get some permanent infrastructure to be used in future, for example new lights that could be used again and again over coming years."

Residents wishing to submit ideas can post them to the 'Weymouth Community Christmas Committee' Facebook page, or submit in writing and drop them into suggestion boxes at the Palm House Café; Fantastic Sausage Factory or BID offices in Hope Square.