We are a group of volunteers, we give up a large amount of our time throughout the whole year to put the event together and also have to work with ECC, Basildon Council, Local businesses and many contractors just to get the lights put up.
We wanted to take this opportunity to be open and transparent so you can all see the kind of costs that go into this, sadly there isn’t a large pot of money just for the Christmas lights, and we thank all the public that has so far donated.
Did you know that Wickford at Christmas was only formed in 2016? It was formed to keep the lights up year on year and hopefully with funds improve on them.
As a new community group, we had nothing in the money pot and knew we had a big task on our hands.
In 2016 we brought in £8,346.83 through donations, sponsorship, programme adverts, raffle tickets, etc. On the day of the Christmas fair we had an estimated 5000 people attend throughout the day, we also took £2,376.05 on the day itself in our collection buckets.
The cost of the 2016 event was £4691.69 which left us at the end of our first year with £3655.14. This has been carried over into 2017.
The cost of installing, running and removal of the 2016 lights was kindly covered by the now disbanded ‘Light Up Wickford’
Fast forward to 2017….
We started the year with £3,655.14 in the bank and so far in sponsorship, donations, stall and advert costs we have brought in £11,266.35
This year the event has grown and we have added more for the public to enjoy on the day, we hope to draw in more people this year. The event has cost £7883.91 to put on this year.
The cost of installing, running and the removal of the lights in Wickford is £4048, minus a £1000 donation from Basildon Council towards the costs.
Looking towards 2018…
The committee would absolutely love to have Christmas lights like Regent and Oxford Street, but they have budgets in the millions. Something we are not gifted with.
If we wanted new lights on the light columns these cost in the region of £200+ per fitting, and for a cross street display is upwards of £1000. With these kinds of costs, you can see why improving them is not going to happen within one year.
We hope to improve on our funds enough to allow some major improvements to the lights in 2018 along with an official switch on. But this is only possible with everyone working together and donating towards the lights.
There are roughly 23,000 adults in Wickford, if each one of them gave a £1, think what could be achieved!
Please remember, as well as all the great local businesses that have sponsored the event, without them none of this would be happening and the town would have NO lights.