Council awarded £50,000 towards the cost of new Christmas lights in Boston
A four day Christmas festival is set to run from Thursday next week, November 23-26, when the official illuminations switch-on will be held to kick-off the event.
But now the authority has announced its Christmas lights have received a financial boost from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
This morning (Friday) – the council had a nine-metre tall tree delivered and erected at its traditional spot by the Herbert Ingram Memorial.
As previously reported, last year’s Christmas illuminations, organised by the then Tory-led council, caused huge controversy with residents blasting the lack of lights, plus revelations the authority had spent £11,790 on an artificial tree.
This week the council says it has been conscious of its need to invest more in the town’s festivities – and the benefits that this may bring to the local economy.
A spokesperson said: “The Council has been conscious of the need to invest in the town and its Christmas festivities in order to attract new funding streams and importantly bring people back into the town, in order to support the local economy and help build on our sense of community, particularly at this important time of year.
”This approach is bringing significant rewards - with funding now surpassing expectations.
“The town centre will now benefit from £50,000 of UK Shared Prosperity Funding towards the purchase of Christmas lights for this year and future years.”
Meanwhile, Transported has secured £30,000 in Arts Council England funding to deliver this year’s Illuminate parade, plus a schools and community programme to allow hundreds of people to get involved in making lanterns and costumes for the event.
A further £30,000 was also awarded to Transported by the National Lottery – but a portion of this money will be used for other projects in the area.
Coun Dale Broughton, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Town Centre, said: “The festive lights, market stalls, and entertainment will make this a celebration to remember. We are grateful for the community's enthusiasm and the generous support from sponsors. Let's make it magical!”
Coun Anne Dorrian, Leader of the Council, said: “I'm thrilled to witness the anticipation building for Boston's Christmas Festival. The festive spirit, illuminated by community support and the dedication of our sponsors, is a testament to the unity that defines our town. Let's embrace the joy and create lasting memories together!”
Nick Jones, Director at Transported added: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer hundreds of people the chance to work with inspiring artists, to learn new skills and to be inspired, putting art and culture at the heart of what makes the town a great place to live, work and visit.”
The Christmas market is expected to feature more than 50 traders offering a variety of goods, where there will be free parking in all council-owned off-street car parks from 4pm on the Thursday, to 4pm on the Sunday, and again during the first four Saturdays of December.
The festival will feature the Illuminate parade, stage performances, and walkabout entertainment. Festivities will also be held at the Stump and Pescod Square Shopping Centre throughout the Thursday.