23 October 2015
B P Collins helps put the shine on festivities
B P Collins and four other Gerrards Cross businesses have come to the rescue after safety concerns over the existing festive lights threatened to cancel the town’s annual Christmas Fair.
Earlier this year, the Gerrards Cross Traders Association (GXTA) warned that without additional funding to pay for the rental of new lights, the high street would remain in darkness during December.
After an appeal to local businesses, Association members B P Collins LLP, along with Nexus IT, Nunn Hayward, Tesco and Waitrose, provided funds which, together with donations from the Parish and County Councils, mean the big switch on event on 2 December will now go ahead.
Above LtoR: Francesca Stec (Nexus IT), Ian Hopkins (B P Collins LLP), Jackie Nolan (Tesco), David Jordan (Nunn Hayward) and Dan Rozario (Waitrose).
Traders Association committee chairman and Waitrose branch manager, Ian Everett said that, as a volunteer organisation, organising and fundraising for new Christmas lights in such a short space of time had presented real challenges.
"Eye-catching and effective lighting decorations are such an integral part to any high street during the Christmas period and really help get shoppers into the festive mood," he said.
"When we were told our existing lights were no longer fit for purpose, we were faced with the prospect of no lights at all this year. It was really down to this select group of established businesses being able to dig deep for the community and match fund the Council's donation, which will ensure Gerrards Cross sparkles this Christmas."
Samantha Howe, brand marketing manager at B P Collins and GXTA committee member, is delighted the new lights are now on order. "We really appreciate the effort that has gone in to kick starting such an important campaign. These new lights will make such a difference to the town as the festive season draws closer and we can't wait to celebrate with other traders and residents on festival night."
Early in 2016, the Association plans to launch a new "Starlight Campaign" to allow all businesses to contribute towards a Christmas lights scheme on a longer term basis. It hopes that by spreading the cost across all the village’s shops and businesses, the whole area will ultimately benefit from the central high street looking its best.
"When we found out our existing lights were no good, we wanted to do a rental scheme similar to other villages in Buckinghamshire, whereby the maintenance, insurance and storage is all taken care of by a third party," said Polly Lusher, committee member and Shu Shu owner.
"However, as the Traders Association is run by a small team of volunteers, who all have demanding day jobs, trying to get over 100 businesses to commit funds to a long term solution was simply not possible this year. We're just really thrilled that now we can still light up Gerrards Cross thanks to the large donations from these well-known local businesses."
The new lights will be switched on at the annual Christmas Fair, on Wednesday 2 December from 5.30pm onwards. The whole community is invited to take advantage of the late night shopping, complimentary food and drinks, games and prizes on offer around the village.
The annual event is organised by the Rotary Club of Gerrards Cross and Chalfont St Peter and the Rotary Club of Misbourne Matins to help raise funds for local community projects and charities.
Earlier this year, the Traders Association helped Gerrards Cross receive the runner up award in the Pushman Cup for the Best Kept Village Competition.