Are we going to switch out the lights?

One of the highlights of Biggleswade’s social calendar could become a thing of the past.

Biggleswade’s Christmas lights, funded by the chamber of trade, have illuminated the town for more than 40 years – but that could all change unless more businesses put their hands in their pockets.

And if no more donations have been found by August the chamber of trade says it will have no choice but to pull the plug on the lights and popular switch-on event.

Martin Thomas, who chaired this week’s chamber of trade AGM, said it had been increasingly difficult to raise the £10,000 needed over the last two or three years, thanks to rising costs of insurance, replacement lights and wiring, electricity bills and health and safety issues.

And while independent traders stump up the cash to make sure the event goes ahead the majority of Biggleswade’s larger chains do not.

Horace Dilley, who was at the meeting, said: “Biggleswade Christmas lights must go on. They’ve lit up the town since 1962 and they’ve brought tremendous pleasure, not only to the people of Biggleswade but people have come from far and wide to enjoy the lights.

“I hope that other businesses who have not donated in the past will come to our aid.”

Mayor of Biggleswade, Wendy Smith, added: “From a community point of view it’s like Armistice Day and the carnival, it’s one of the events of the year. To see its demise would be heartbreaking, especially for the children. The town would be much poorer at Christmas without them.”

The town council donates £3,000 to the lights, and recently paid for additional lights.

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