St Albans Christmas lights campaign is a glowing success

The Old Town Hall with its Christmas lights switched on

The Old Town Hall with its Christmas lights switched on - Credit: Archant

City can look forward to a bright and colourful festive season.

Light relief is in store for St Albans businesses and shoppers alike this Christmas as a campaign to brighten up the city centre during the festive season has proved hugely successful.

Residents and local firms have banded together to pledge over £4,100 towards the provision of much-improved lighting in the city’s two Christmas trees, outside the Town Hall and the Alban Arena

District councillor Alun Davies launched a “Light up St Albans” bid via crowdfunding platform, Spacehive, to buy new lights, following complaints to the city neighbourhood committee, on which he sits, about previous displays being “rubbish”.

He was thrilled on Monday (1) - deadline day for his crowdfunding bid - when it was clear that community-minded businesses and residents had helped him to reach his goal of obtaining over £4,100 for new Christmas lights, which will be installed in early December.

He has praised supporters for the “positive response”, adding, “I was surprised that some people made big pledges.”

Some firms have offered to donate hundreds of pounds towards the project, including Atlas Translations and Collinson Hall, both of which pledged £500; GTR Railway and Clydesdale Bank Business and Private Banking Centre St Albans, both promising £300; SA Law LLP and Leightons Opticians, £250; The Boot and Dylans Craft Beer Co Ltd, £100.

There are also many residents who dug deep, donating anything from £2 to £100.

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Among those supporting the project was a charity shop manager who posted on the councillor’s Spacehive fundraising page: “Great idea! The old ones are very tired and my Mum would love to see some new ones.”

Eric Roberts from the St Albans Civic Society, which pledged £100, hailed the fundraising as “great news. Well done Cllr Davies. It just shows that we have to club together to make things happen; we can’t just expect council to cough up the money in these cash-strapped times.”

Cllr Davies is already preparing further crowdfunding campaigns – he is working with childbirth and parenting charity NCT on the provision of “pop-up” areas for mums attending events in the city centre with their babies, to provide space for breast-feeding and changing nappies.