Bexhill Christmas lights set for £13K four year funding?

Bexhill's Christmas extravaganza. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-150512-104742001
Bexhill's Christmas extravaganza. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-150512-104742001

Bexhill’s Christmas lights could be given £13,500 funding for the next four years by the council.

Shining Lights’ campaign to spruce up Bexhill’s festive decorations was such a success that Rother District Council could agree to contribute towards the cost until 2020, if the officer’s recommendation is supported.

The cabinet will discuss the proposal at a meeting on Monday, April 4, after Shining Lights asked Rother to continue its support.

It is also suggested to transfer responsibility for the lights to Shining Lights over the next four years and continue to use the eyebolt fittings in the town centre.

An estimated 10,000 people turned up for the switch-on party in the town centre in December with many businesses reporting high takings on the night as well as a positive reaction from the public.

The district council gave £13,500 towards last year’s lights which helped towards the £43,100 total with the rest raised through donations.

Shining Lights wants the council to continue its contribution for four years as this is the length of its contract with The Festive Lighting Company.

There are plans to build on last year’s lights for 2016 with decorations in Town Hall Square and the soutern section of London Road between the town hall and Aldi, according to the council report.

There will also be some changes to the management of the project with many lessons learnt from its inaugural year.

Shining Lights will ensure the decorations are installed before the planned switch-on date of December 2.

There were some delays in getting the lights up caused by a number of factors including poor weather, getting consent from building owners to fix the lights to their properties, and issues from The Festive Lighting Company, which it took responsibility for.

The switch-on event will also be expanded to include more of the town centre, the party will end at 8pm instead of 9pm, the lights will be turned off at midnight rather than 1am and there will be a bigger Christmas tree.

Also only the lights on Devonshire Road and Devonshire Square will be part of the switch-on as there were issues with having a town-wide switch-on. The rest of the decorations will already be lit.

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