Star billing for new Christ­mas tree as BID pre­pare for the fes­tive sea­son

Midweek Visiter - - Southport Bid -

VISI­TORS to our town cen­tre ear­lier this week couldn’t have failed to see our new Christ­mas tree taking shape.

Stand­ing over 20 me­tres tall with a six-me­tre base, the tree is a com­plete change from the tra­di­tional tree pre­vi­ously seen in our town cen­tre in re­cent years.

The tree forms the fes­tive cen­tre­piece of this year’s Christ­mas cam­paign.

An open-air ice rink on one side and wooden chalets sell­ing food and drink on the other side will trans­form Town Hall Gar­dens and cre­ate our town’s most mag­i­cal Christ­mas fes­ti­val.

Our new tree alone will have 20,000 lights.

When you add that to the num­ber of in­di­vid­ual Christ­mas lights that we’ve in­stalled (80,000) and the in­di­vid­ual Lord Street tree lights (400,000) it makes a grand to­tal of 500,000.

Not bad for a town the size of South­port! It all starts with the big­gest Christ­mas lights switch-on that we’ve ever put to­gether.

The switch-on is now an es­tab­lished BID event and it’s all hap­pen­ing this Sun­day (November 18). This year’s line-up, the best we’ve de­liv­ered so far, in­cludes S Club, boy band 911 and Livin’ Joy.

Other acts ap­pear­ing on stage in­clude Starkidz, Astrid (from The Voice Kids 2018) and CBee­bies’ Cook And Line.

All of that will be sup­ported by dig­i­tal and me­dia ad­ver­tis­ing de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with Mar­ket­ing South­port.

We’re work­ing in close col­lab­o­ra­tion with Sefton Coun­cil’s tourism team.

While the BID is fund­ing the Christ­mas lights and tree, the open-air ice rink is a joint fund­ing ini­tia­tive be­tween our­selves and the coun­cil.

This year’s Christ­mas cam­paign will be the last the BID will de­liver in this term.

It’s our last op­por­tu­nity to demon­strate the value of what we do be­fore busi­nesses in the town cen­tre get to vote on whether to con­tinue the BID ar­range­ments for a fur­ther five-year term.

If the vote is in favour, then we’ll be able to con­tinue de­liv­er­ing our Christ­mas cam­paigns.

How­ever, if the an­swer is no, then the fund­ing for the Christ­mas lights and switchon event (and all other ac­tiv­ity de­liv­ered by the BID) will have to come from some­where else.

In the cur­rent eco­nomic cli­mate, that is extremely un­likely. BID levy pay­ers will get the op­por­tu­nity to vote next May on our pro­pos­als for a new term.

Our pro­pos­als will build on what we’ve achieved so far with an in­creased fo­cus on at­tract­ing new in­vest­ment and lob­by­ing on be­half of busi­nesses in the town cen­tre.

Artists’ im­pres­sions of South­port’s new Christ­mas tree

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