People all across the country gather each year for the switch on of their town or cities Christmas light switch on. It signals the start of the festive period and even sees a range of local celebrities attending as well. For many, Christmas lights are a great way to encourage people to visit their local town and appreciate it, however what are the costs of putting all the lighting up and running it throughout the Christmas period? We’ve taken a look at some of the costs reported across the country for Christmas lighting.
In 2018 it was reported that Portsmouth City Council spent £70,500 on Christmas lighting with an additional £2,000 being put aside for contingencies. This was an increase compared to previous years and is significantly higher than their other local towns. However, the head of economic development for Portsmouth City Council believes it was the right decision as the Christmas lights play an important role in how the city celebrates Christmas.
In 2015, Wakefield council spent £138,000 on their Christmas lights, which was set to increase to £213,000 in 2016. The increase in spend was largely due to a new sponsorship deal alongside maintenance fees for keeping good health and safety standards. Similar to Portsmouth, Wakefield Council believes the Christmas lights and decorations are vital for the enjoyment of residents and visitors as well as for supporting local businesses.
Braford’s budget for Christmas Lights and decorations has been the same since 2005 and as of 2016 had not changed. The city annually spent £151,000 on Christmas decorations. Bradford city council cited the reason for not increasing the budget as being due to having obligations to other services, however they too believe that impressive Christmas decorations are key to bringing footfall to town and city centres across the festive period.
As a large city, Leeds is bound to have a larger spend on Christmas lights and decorations. In 2016 Leeds City Council looked to increase their spending to £525,969; a figure which is likely to have increase by 2019. For large cities such as Leeds and Manchester which host Christmas markets among other festivities, having impressive lights and decorations is essential and helps to drive visits and footfall over the Christmas period.
Although the spending on Christmas lights and decorations may seem excessive to some, the reasoning councils have behind the increased spending is directly related to economic growth and driving footfall in towns and cities. Increased visitors over the festive period is directly beneficial to local businesses and therefore encouraged. It is also a great way to bring communities together and helps people be proud of their local towns.
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