Published: September 24, 2010
Hopes of saving Burnham-On-Sea's Christmas lights get a boost

A bid to save Burnham-On-Sea's town centre Christmas lights display has been given a boost this week by town councillors. was first to report earlier this year how the annual display of festive lights is in jeopardy due to a funding shortfall caused by cash-strapped Sedgemoor District Council slashing its grant funding in half.

Rhonda Mills, Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade’s Chairman, attended this week's meeting of the Town Council's Policy And Finance Committee to ask for help in meeting the £7,500 cost of installing the lights across the town centre.

Her plea was received positively, with Cllr Eric Gill saying: "We appreciate how much the Christmas lights mean to traders, shoppers and residents in town and I certainly don’t want to lose them. I propose we give extra grant funding to the Chamber."

The Town Council had already pledged £1,350 for the lights, while Sedgemoor District Council could only afford £750 - leaving the Chamber with a shortfall of over £4,000.

Town councillors voted in favour of awarding an extra £1,200 of grant funding to the Chamber - although that decision is subject to a second, final vote at the next full town council meeting in October.

Rhonda told the decision was "good news" but said that support from local businesses and residents would be essential if the Christmas lights display is to go ahead as in previous years.

A fundraising Race Night to raise money for local community projects including the Christmas lights and Tourist Information Centre is being planned by the Chamber of Trade and other organisations at the Oak Tree Arena on Friday 12th November.

Organiser Tom Ashton, who is Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Trade, told "The event will be a lot of fun and will hopefully raise a good amount to allow the Christmas lights to go ahead."

"We've already interest from local firms wanting to sponsor ‘horses’ on the night and are keen to hear from others who wish to support is. Tickets will be on sale shortly."

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