There’s still 133 days to Christmas, but sparkling plans are afoot...

An image showing how Spalding Market Place may look this Christmas.
An image showing how Spalding Market Place may look this Christmas.

SPALDING will have a white Christmas with councillors poised to splash £57,000 on new festive lights for the town centre.

Worn out strings of outdated multi-coloured bulbs will be binned off and in will come a 21st Century display of all-white lights.

The lights will brighten up Bridge Street, Market Place, Red Lion Street, Hall Place, Sheep Market, Station Street, The Crescent and part of New Road.

And there will be a brand new ‘take’ on South Holland’s emblem with 13 tulip lights put up on lampposts from the back of Hills Department Store and stretching along London Road.

Those lights may be lit for other celebrations as well as Christmas.

At their meeting on Wednesday Spalding Town Forum saw computer generated images showing how the Christmas display will look this year.

Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce was asked by the forum to come up with a Christmas lighting scheme based on the area covered by festive lights in recent years.

Chamber president Phil Scarlett is recommending the council to ask Blachere Illumination to provide the town centre Christmas lights and Festive Lighting to do the riverbank as Blachere cannot manufacture the tulips.

On images shown to forum members, the tulip heads were red and the stalks white – but there is an option to have them all white if that’s what the council wants.

Mr Scarlett said: “That says Spalding. It says what we are.”

The costs of the town centre scheme is £57,000 spread over three years – and the riverbank tulips will cost a further £8,900 over three years.

The forum agreed to recommend South Holland District Council’s cabinet to press ahead with both schemes.

Mr Scarlett said orders need to be placed soon in order to get the lights up in time for Christmas.

He said: “If you want to do this, you need to get on with it now.”

Part of the town centre cost includes one-off work, testing the light fixings, and Mr Scarlett revealed that hadn’t been done recently as there were no tension certificates for the current fixings.

The cost also includes purchase of the lights which will have a life expectancy of five to ten years.

Mr Scarlett said Blachere will put up and take down the lights – and maintain them in purpose-built storage.

The meeting heard the town’s current lights are mostly so worn they are unsuitable for re-sale.

Mr Scarlett also revealed using the old lights this Christmas would cost £22,000 – including the one-off work to test light fixings – and the bill might be higher still as some of the lights need replacing.

Coun Howard Johnson told the meeting: “I would certainly recommend a paper going to the cabinet.”

l Turn to page 15 to find out why Coun Christine Lawton thinks it would be wrong for a Christmas lights decoration to draw attention to Superdrug.