Delight as four-year £13k Bexhill Christmas lights funding secured

The tree at the Christmas Extravaganza which will be replaced by the new tree bought from Little Down Farm. Photo by Frank Copper
The tree at the Christmas Extravaganza which will be replaced by the new tree bought from Little Down Farm. Photo by Frank Copper

The organisers of the new Bexhill Christmas lights were delighted after the council agreed to donate £13,500 every year until 2020.

Rother District Council’s cabinet granted the request from Shining Lights Ltd (SLL) to continue supporting the scheme at a meeting on Monday, April 4.

SLL co-director Andrew Crotty is already planning for 2016’s Christmas Extravaganza and was happy to have the security the money will provide.

“The councillors were very impressed with last year’s event and they are intrigued and looking forward to this year’s,” he said.

Shining Lights will take over responsibility of the lights for the next four years and continue to use the eyebolt fittings in the town centre.

Preparations for this year are already underway as SLL has applied to East Sussex County Council to close the roads and it bought a 30ft tree from Little Down Farm.

The stage for the switch-on event has also been acquired from a business in the town and More FM, formerly Arrow FM, will be hosting the evening as it did last year.

Mr Crotty’s vision is to light up the whole of Bexhill but they are only a small team so he wants traders and residents to get involved to help spread the festive cheer as far as possible.

“We’ve always wanted big plans for Bexhill’s Christmas lights and to incorporate the whole town,” he said.

“So what we want now is for traders in Sackville Road, St Leonards Road and others to work with us if they’ve got any ideas on how what we could do in those areas.”

Although the council money is gratefully received, Mr Crotty said Shining Lights will still be fund-raising and asking for donations to try to surpass last year’s total of £43,500.

The directors have also met with lighting contractors The Festive Lighting Company who apologised for the delays in installing the decorations, which were mainly due to poor weather, Mr Crotty said.

But this year, the lights will be up and tested as soon as possible.

Mr Crotty said they had learnt many lessons from the inaugural event and expects this year to be even better.

“We’re very grateful to the people of Bexhill for coming out and enjoying themselves even with other events on in the area,” he said.

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