Council’s gift to help make Bexhill sparkle

Cllr Abul Azad (Rother District Council member for Bexhill Central), Cllr Simon Elford (RDC cabinet member for Bexhill affairs, culture and tourism), Mick Matthews (Shining Lights director), Graham Burgess (RDC economic development manager), Anna Beale and Andrew Crotty (directors of Shining Lights) SUS-151014-113035001
Cllr Abul Azad (Rother District Council member for Bexhill Central), Cllr Simon Elford (RDC cabinet member for Bexhill affairs, culture and tourism), Mick Matthews (Shining Lights director), Graham Burgess (RDC economic development manager), Anna Beale and Andrew Crotty (directors of Shining Lights) SUS-151014-113035001

An effort to improve Bexhill’s Christmas lights has been given a funding boost.

Rother District Council’s cabinet has agreed to grant £13,500 to Shining Lights, the voluntary organisation which will take over responsibility for the lights this year.

That amount is the current annual budget for the festive lights display in the town, which until now has been council’s responsibility.

The money will go towards the estimated £40,000 cost of providing an improved, expanded display this year, with the grant to be reviewed on an annual basis.

Shining Lights is working with provider The Festive Lighting Company to deliver a display expected to feature cross-street features, festoon lighting and a bespoke ‘Welcome To Bexhill’ display.

Cllr Simon Elford, cabinet member for Bexhill affairs, culture and tourism, said: “The scheme being proposed by Shining Lights is very exciting and will be welcomed by residents and traders.

“We very much appreciate the drive and imagination they have put into trying to improve the lights in the town and are happy to be able to support their efforts financially.

“The proposed scheme will help to make Bexhill a more attractive place for people to do their Christmas shopping and bring economic benefits for the town, and the district as a whole.”

The arrangement will bring Bexhill into line with other communities such as Rye and Battle, where the council provides a grant towards the cost of Christmas lighting, which is maintained by a third party, in those cases the chambers of commerce.

Anna Beale, one of the directors of Shining Lights, said: “We’d like to wholeheartedly thank Rother District Council for showing belief in what we’re doing.

“We’d also like to thank the local community and local businesses for their support, and we hope we can help to ensure everyone in Bexhill has a wonderful Christmas this year.”

The estimated cost of the Christmas lights display is £40,920 this year, falling to £36,300 in subsequent years.

Shining Lights will lease the lights from the Festive Lighting Company, which will be responsible for repairs and upgrades.

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