Business owners campaign for Christmas lights to extend up to the High Street
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A group of shop owners are banding together to try and light up a historic part of Lowestoft.
Traders based on the High Street decided that a concerted push for Christmas lights was needed after seeing the dazzling array of illumination on London Road North.
With the historic north end of Lowestoft not having been lit up for several years, the group have been meeting to discuss how to light up their surroundings and subsequently attract more customers.
As it stands, the lights on London Road North are funded by businesses that pay into Lowestoft Vision, the Business Improvement District (BID); the large majority of businesses on the High Street are exempt from paying into the BID levy because they have rateable values of less than £12,000.
Last year, Lowestoft Vision investigated the possibility of having lights installed at the top of the High Street, but was quoted £4,000 due to the area requiring extensive surveying.
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Led by Eastern Foods owner Neil Phelps, this year's campaign caught the attention of Homebase, Asda and Lowestoft Vision, who all contributed funding.
Mr Phelps said: 'It's a shame that such a historic part of Lowestoft hasn't been properly lit up for a number of years.
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'However, it's been great to see so many people getting involved and, with the money that has been donated, we bought loads of lights and handed them out to businesses.
'A large portion of the High Street is now lit up and the hope now is that next year we'll be successful in our push for proper Christmas lights.'
Lowestoft Vision chairman Danny Steel explained the difficulties they have had in their recent efforts to illuminate the part of the town that was once the main medieval settlement grown around the fishing industry.
'We were quoted £4,000 for Christmas lights at the top of the High Street last year, mainly because the older lamp posts need to be surveyed for stability and electrical control,' he said.
'Lowestoft Vision is more than happy to help with lighting up the High Street, and it would be great if we could organise some sort of joint venture with the local councils.'