Christmas is not cancelled says Christchurch Town Council after BCP Council slashes festive funding
Christmas is not cancelled in Christchurch, the town’s council has promised after BCP slashed its festive funding for the high street.
A Christchurch Town Council spokesperson BCP’s announcement that it would not be footing the bill for the Christmas display and the Christmas tree this year had come as a surprise.
But it they have vowed to still have a “magical” Christmas event in the town with lights that “will be better than ever”.
The spokesperson said: “Since 2019 Christchurch Town Council has managed the Christmas light display and this year is planning for a magical switch-on event.
“This is just one of the many benefits the town council is able to bring to the town.
“The light display was new for 2022 and is being developed for an even better display in 2023 and beyond.”
They added: “The news that BCP is not funding the Christmas tree this year comes as a surprise but means this can now fall to the responsibility of the town council to ensure the town has a fantastic display.”
BCP Council has said not paying for festive displays in Christchurch and Bournemouth would save it £50,000.
Andy Martin, portfolio holder for culture said the council had faced some "difficult decisions" having revealed earlier this year that it was facing a shortfall of £44 million,
He said: "We do not underestimate the sense of celebration and joy Christmas brings to our communities, but we must balance this with our need to take a responsible approach to our financial commitments.”
Christchurch will be holding a Christmas lights switch-on event on 25th November in the High Street and Saxon Square.
There will be a full day of entertainment from 11am to 7pm hosted by Jay Rachet from Hot Radio and performances from local singers and choirs including Soul to Soul and The Choir Engine Christchurch.
There will also be disco music from the Hush Club with seasonal cocktails being served, and entertainment for kids from Minky Moos.
Mayor of Christchurch Vivienne Charrett will be joined by Father Christmas for the switch-on at 5.30pm which will be followed by music from 6 to the Bar.
Councillor Charrett said: “I think this year will be a fantastic year that Christmas will truly be celebrated throughout the Christchurch area. The snowflake theme lights are fantastic. It will be truly amazing; I hope to see everyone there.”