Richmond Council has confirmed that the ever-popular Teddington Lights Up event on the High Street will take place this year, following a meeting with ward councillors, Cabinet Members and local businesses.
Last week, local businesses, and a group of ward councillors, along with Cllr Gareth Roberts, the Leader of Richmond Council, met with Teddington Together, the organisers of the Christmas lights event to discuss the reasons why the light switch on ceremony had been cancelled.
In addition to a financial contribution to the lights, the Council had agreed to waive its fee for the road closures and negotiated with Transport for London (TfL) that their charges for diverting buses would also be dropped. This is in addition to the Council subsidising charges for street cleansing after the event.
At the meeting, attendees discussed what else could be done to ensure that the popular event goes ahead.
And, thanks to the help of local businesses and councillors, the organisers will be given more practical support to ensure that the lights can be switched on at a community event on the 29 November at 5.30pm.
However, the organisers still need help. They are appealing for more local businesses and residents to come forward and help financially contribute to the lights. Teddington Together has set up an online donation page for people to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/teddington-lights-up&rcid=r01-154141416908-d15e7c4d837a4ee5&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_m
Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:
“Like everyone else, I was very disappointed to hear that the Teddington Christmas event was to be cancelled. We support all the high street events around the borough and Christmas light events not only promote community spirit – they also are vital financial boost for local businesses.
“We have already committed financially to this event, and all the others in Richmond upon Thames. In addition, we subsidise street cleansing and don’t charge to close the road. For Teddington we also negotiated with TfL to ensure that they didn’t receive extra charges for diverting buses.
“It is unfortunate that the impression may have been given in some quarters that council charges had in some way threatened the viability of this popular event. That is not, and never was, the case.
“However, organising events such as this is a huge task. And not one that a few individuals can deliver without the support of local businesses and volunteers. In addition, they are also costly. Fundraising around the year is essential to ensure that they can happen.
“So, I would encourage residents across the borough, if you would like to help support your Christmas light switch on, please speak to Teddington Together to find out how you can help.”
Bhavna Patel, Chair of Teddington Together, the organisers of the lights, said:
“I would like to thank Richmond Council and the local businesses who have offered their support for this event. Over the years the Christmas light events have grown exponentially. Not just in terms of the huge number of people attending, but also the costs.
“We have to think about making sure the event is as good as it can be for everyone, whilst making sure it is safe. So, I would like to call on the local community to come forward and help. That could be via donating for the lights in the future or suggesting fundraising opportunities, or in person. If we work together as a community, we can make sure that the Christmas lights continue in the future.”