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Halesowen Christmas lights in jeopardy
7:50am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
TRADERS in Halesowen will face a bleak Christmas with no festive lights unless they stump up the £7,000 shortfall in their cost.
The stark warning comes this week from the town’s chamber of trade after only nine businesses responded to last month’s appeal, raising just £2,115.
Dudley Council provides £5,000 towards the cost, but the chamber has to fund the remaining £4,000 cost of erecting and running the lights and a further £5,000 is needed this year to refurbish the ageing displays.
Chamber chairman Steve Fitzpatrick said: “A lot of shops show complete apathy and need a wake up call.
“If we don’t get more contributions, unless the council can do something which is unlikely, there will be no lights in the town this Christmas.”
The lights should go up at the end of the month, ready for the November 16 switch-on, and time is running out to raise the money and have them refurbished.
Mr Fitzpatrick said: “Not to have Christmas lights would be terrible. There will be no Christmas spirit in the town centre to attract people in and the shops would suffer.”
He added: Other towns have lights and we do not want to loose out. We usually have the best show in the borough and because we have more it costs more to put them up, run them and renew them.
“If we only had them in the very centre traders in other streets would complain - we have to be fair.”
The companies who have given to the lights appeal so far are Vale Retail (Cornbow) Ltd, Sandvik, Henn and Westwood, Asda, BB Price, Harris Steels, Nicklins, Chapman and Myres and Bloore and King The chamber is asking for donations from £50. Businesses can also sponsor a garland for £300 with their name or logo displayed on a banner hanging from them.
Anyone wishing to donate should contact Eve O’Connor at the Cornbow Shopping Centre on 0121 5855495.
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