No money for Pinner Christmas

THE future of Christmas celebrations in Pinner is in jeopardy as businesses struggle to fund the event.

The annual Pinner Pantomime evening has been running for years, paid for by traders and the Pinner Association, but recently organisers have been struggling with donations.

If the event goes ahead there will be Christmas lights in High Street, Pinner, and choir singing by pupils at local schools, but if the money cannot be found a local tradition will be lost.

Dee Davis, a High Street trader, said: “We’ve been the first to pay most years because it’s a lovely evening for children, it’s really good fun. There are the fireworks and face painters.

“I used to dress up for it. I do know that many of the local traders are struggling with cash flow at the moment.”

Businesses are expected to donate around £80 but recently sales have been much slower in High Street than in previous years and many traders say they simply cannot afford the fee.

But financial problems are more complicated than that and some shops say losing the pantomime event, which is an important source of income, would have a far greater impact.

For traders who stay open during the event it is an opportunity to sell to people who may not otherwise go to Pinner – and spread awareness of their products.

Mark Cuggy, owner of The Village Gallery, said: “We were the first people to pay our contribution. It’s quite a sad state of affairs really. It’s not much money and it’s a really good kick start to the Christmas period.

“We’ve got too many shops shutting down in the High Street as it is to risk missing out on this.”

Hussein Syed, a member of the committee that runs the pantomime evening, said: “If people see it as a community event then it doesn’t matter whether people are trading or not.

“There is also an issue with some traders who pay and open while others open but refuse to pay, and a lot of people are upset about the unfairess of this.”

He said there is less money available because some shop owners who used to donate have ceased trading.

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