Christmas cheer is set to return with new lights plan

Local Business

Christmas cheer is set to return with new lights plan
Gene Yore @dundalkdemocrat.ieTwitter: @dundalkdemocrat

Dundalk BIDS (Business Improvement District Scheme) is forging ahead with plans to bring new Christmas lights to the town for this year.

Dundalk BIDS Manager Martin McElligott has put together a comprehensive plan that includes the latest in energy efficient, lightweight illuminations.

Last Christmas parts of the town had no lights because businesses said it was left to the same people every year to pay for the lighting.

“I have very fond memories and have always been filled with pride at Christmas in our town,” Martin McElligott said.

“After consulting with many businesses, I was happy to see we all shared that common ground.

“It became clear that we need to take a huge jump forward while still taking into account the historic values of the streetscape and the town centre.

“We want Dundalk to be a well illuminated Christmas destination.

“In the past, the cost of running the Christmas lights has been down to the very generous contributions of a certain percentage of business owners in this town while other retailers and business owners had shown apathy and a disappointing lack of interest in paying towards their Christmas Lights.

“I have met with Christmas illumination specialists with experience in town and city centre lighting and have come up with visual impressions of the Dundalk streetscape. You only have to look at these to see how fantastic our main streets would become.

“The project would be led by ourselves here in Dundalk BIDS, on behalf of our town businesses, and assisted by Louth County Council and Dundalk Chamber of Commerce. When ordered, they could arrive here well in time for Christmas 2016.”

Martin added that he would like to see those who had not contributed now stepping up to play their part.

“BIDS will be contacting all relevant business owners to ask them to join with us all in paying for the lights. There has to be fairness. If you benefit from the lights, then you should pay a contribution,” he said.

“Dundalk did not look its best last Christmas, and understandably people were fed up paying so much for lighting while others did not. Retailers who I have mentioned this to are very optimistic about our proposals as this way we can have quality lighting in an equitable and affordable way,” said Martin.