Alternative celebration to replace this year’s Christmas lights event

Following public safety concerns over the Covid-19 pandemic, Bridgend County Borough Council is developing plans for an alternative celebration to replace this year’s Christmas lights event in Bridgend town centre.

Council leader Huw David said the decision had been taken following careful consideration of Welsh Government advice and guidance around Covid-19.

Councillor David said: “The annual Christmas lights event and all the activities surrounding it are hugely popular with residents and traders, and we share in their disappointment that it cannot go ahead as normal this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the moment there is little certainty around the future with regards to the pandemic, and we need to do all we can to ensure the safety of our residents as well as notify our partners who commit both time and money in helping us prepare for the switch-on.

“However, between now and November we will be working closely with our partners to put together an alternative way of celebrating the festive season, with the overall aim of supporting our local businesses and providing some of the magic and excitement of Christmas for our residents.

“As part of the plans, we hope to provide an online platform both for local organisations, traders and businesses to engage with the general public, and also for communities to display events and relevant information.

“Our aim will be to drive footfall into the town centre taking into consideration the most recent Welsh Government guidelines to do with the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we realise it is early in the year to be talking about Christmas, these events are planned months in advance and we need to let businesses know now so they have time to plan for the all-important festive period.”

Paul Whittaker, creative director of epm Creative, said: “We are looking forward to working with the businesses again in Bridgend town centre to deliver a unique and cutting edge Christmas promotion.

“We hope that through this project which will be a first for Bridgend, if not South Wales, we can achieve together a festive event that will bring an increase to the footfall and economy of the town.”