BUSINESS owners from Bandon are being encouraged to support the town’s Christmas Lights Appeal after a funding application was refused by Cork County Council.
While the Council committed to granting €5,000 towards the cost of testing, maintaining and the erection of existing lights, this figure will only be available if it is matched by public funding.
‘We applied to Cork County Council for funding for new lights, which could be used to incorporate other areas of the town in 2016 and again in 2017, but these applications were refused,’ said Carol Crean of Bandon
Christmas Lights Appeal.
‘We approached the Council to take over the management of the lights as we do not have a local active Traders’ Association,’ said Ms Crean.
‘They have indicated they will only deal with applications for funding through a group like this and feel that Christmas lights benefit the businesses in the town, and that it is not their remit.’
Carol pointed out that if lights are erected in Bandon this Christmas, they will only be the same level of lights that were erected last year.
‘Our current bank balance is €2,100 and if we receive the Council money we will have a total of €7,100. However, the cost of testing, installing and removal of lights which included insurance and hoist hire is €10,000, plus the turning-on ceremony, music and décor comes to €1,000, which leaves a shortfall of €3,900.’
With only three volunteers behind the appeal, they are hopeful that the businesses of Bandon will rise to the challenge to ensure the Christmas Lights switch-on will go ahead on Sunday November 26th.
‘Bandon Christmas Lights are very much aware of how many donations and sponsorship that businesses are being approached for each year, and for that reason last year’s lights were switched on without seeking any contributions because we had enough funds in the account. Like previous years, should any business contribute, they will get recognition for same,’ added Carol.
The next meeting of the group will take place in the Munster Arms Hotel on Monday November 6th at 6pm.
The deadline date for contributions is November 3rd.
Contributions can be made by Electronic Funds Transfer into their Bank Account or alternatively businesses can drop the contribution into O’Farrell’s Newsagents on South Main Street in Bandon.
Account Name: Bandon Christmas Lights; Account No: 35119-086, Sort Code: 93-40-46, IBAN: IE18 AIBK 934046 35119086, BIC: AIBKIE2D