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Only 10 days to raise £25,000 for Nag’s Head Christmas lights

PUBLISHED: 08:53 27 October 2011

Christmas light switch-on at Nag's Head

Christmas light switch-on at Nag's Head

Archant

Organisers have struggled to raise the cash for the festive display – but the annual Christmas extravaganza is still going ahead.

A community is facing a festive season with no Christmas lights – unless £25,000 is raised in the next 10 days.

Nag’s Head, Holloway, has funding to host its annual Christmas ­extravaganza but organisers have struggled to find the ­extra cash for the usual lighting due to council cutbacks and ­reduced contributions from recession-hit firms.

Now organisers of the ­December 4 event – which will still include six hours of live music, a festive market, real reindeer and funfair rides – are making a heartfelt appeal for a “Christmas angel” to come up with the last-minute cash.

Nag’s Head Town Centre manager Joyce Pollaya said: “This year’s event will be fantastic but because of the cuts and recession, there isn’t funding for Christmas lights in the area.

“I know it’s a huge ask but I just hope someone out there – maybe a bank who wants to spread some Christmas cheer – might step in to help fund the Christmas lights to make a real difference to the area, which contains the most deprived ward in the ­borough.”

She added that the extravaganza, expected to attract more than 6,000 people, will be an “incredible” day ­regardless of the lights.

Cllr Catherine West, council leader said: “I’m right ­behind the appeal for a Christmas angel and hope the ‘big society’ will step up to the challenge.”

Last Christmas, Islington Council cut funding for festive lights in a bid to save around £45,000 as part of cuts forced by a £100million shortfall in funding from government between 2011 and 2015.

However, the Business Improvement District in Islington has funded the lights along Upper Street, Lib Dem councillors have paid for Highbury Barn’s through their local improvement fund and Archway will be lit up with the help of funding from City Hall.

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of the Lib Dem opposition accused the Labour administration of being “grinches” and said it would be a great shame if Holloway Road wasn’t lit up with its usual “stunning” display.

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Cllr West added: “With £100 million slashed from our budget over the next four years we’re using our scarce resources to protect vital services – keeping open all our children’s centres and libraries and building more affordable homes.”

Anyone who can help needs to get in touch with the council before November 7, the deadline for commissioning lighting contractors, although there is flexibility.


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