Help festive lights shine

NADV. Christmas lights in Harrogate. 101130GS2k.
NADV. Christmas lights in Harrogate. 101130GS2k.

AN APPEAL has gone out to local businesses to help keep the lights in Harrogate sparkling this Christmas.

The Harrogate at Christmas Group is asking for financial donations to help them raise the £27,000 needed to fund this year’s festive lights. Harrogate Borough Council is to contribute £10,000 but this has to be match-funded.

Coun John Fox, who chairs the group, said: “The initiative is to encourage people to stay and shop in Harrogate this Christmas rather than going to Leeds or York.

“In the current economic climate, if you look at the independent retailers, it’s very tough. The number of people going into shops has declined and the average spend has gone down. Christmas is the time when retailers make the bulk of their profit.

“The Christmas lights are not just making the town attractive, they will also add vital economic value in keeping shoppers here.”

Any businesses pledging money before next Friday, July 22, will be mentioned on the radio by Stray FM during their fundraising push for the lights - called How Big Is Your Bauble? - on that day. Other benefits to sponsors are inclusion in a full colour supplement with this newspaper series, as well as entry in the Christmas Shop Window Competition.

Coun Fox added: “We are looking for businesses to give whatever they can afford.”

For more information or to make a donation, call 01423 879 208 or email info@harrogateatchristmas.org.