Campaign to avoid blackout for Doncaster’s Christmas lights 2014

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A funding appeal has been launched for a Doncaster market town’s 2014 Christmas lights to avoid another illuminations blackout like last year.

Hard-up Doncaster Council was forced to pull the plug on the town’s lights in December in a bid to save cash.

Organisers are determined to prevent that happening next time around and are hoping generous local businesses may be able to stump up the cash for this year’s festive lights.

Councillor Sue Phillips, a member of organisers Positive Activities Group, said: “It was a disappointment to not have the Christmas lights up last year.

“But all councils are cash-strapped, and that is down to Government cuts.

“We want to make sure that if there is not the council funding again for them, then we can at least look at other ways to raise the money.

“We would need about £7,000, maybe even more, to get the lights up and to pay for the safety tests.

“But a town the size of Mexborough really needs to have its own festive lights.”

She added that having the illuminations up was also important for the ongoing revamp of Mexborough market, which will take place this year at a cost of around £400,000.

She said: “Work is due to start in the spring to upgrade the markets area.

“We are replacing some of the rigid outdoor stalls with pop-ups to create more of a public square in York Square.

“This is a big year for the town and we all really want to see the culmination of it at this year’s lights switch-on.

“It is really important we can find the money for it. It would benefit a business if they sponsor the lights because they will get positive publicity from it.

“If there are any businesses or individuals who can help then please get in touch. We are in desperate need.”

The town still had a Christmas bash last year, but there were no illuminations.

The lights are already bought and they are in storage but they could not be put up because of PAT safety testing, which is estimated to cost several thousand pounds.

Anyone who can help should contact the organising team on 01709 582 244.