Financial update on Wickford’s Christmas lights

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Money for Wickford’s Christmas lights display and street fair comes from grants, business sponsorship, stall holders, charitable donations and public donations. Without this support the town would have NO lights and NO Christmas event.

Wickford at Christmas is a group of volunteers who give up a large amount of our own time throughout the year to ensure the lights are stored, get put up and to organise the Christmas street fair. We do this because we care about Wickford having a Christmas lights display and a street fair that brings together the community and brings a boost to our high street in the festive period.

We work with Essex County Council, Basildon Council, local businesses and many contractors to get the right paperwork in place, secure sponsorship and get the most out of our high street to bring you a festive community feel at Christmas. We hugely appreciate all those that have helped us so far including our sponsors, business supporters and all the wonderful volunteers who give up their time.  

We’re asked every year about why things are how they are – so here’s a little bit about finances, our progress and our future plans.

Wickford at Christmas was only formed in 2016

  • It was formed to keep the lights up year on year and hopefully improve them, as well as run the street fair

  • The cost of installing, running and removal of the 2016 lights was kindly covered by the now disbanded ‘Light Up Wickford’

  • That year Wickford at Christmas brought in £8,346.83 through donations, sponsorship, programme adverts, raffle tickets, etc and on the day we took £2,376.05

  • The cost of the 2016 event was £4,691.69 which left us at the end of our first year with £3,655.14

The event grew in 2017 helped by having money in the bank

  • Through sponsorship, donations, stall and advert costs we brought in another £11,266.35

  • It cost £7,883.91 to put on the 2017 event and the cost of installing, running and the removal of the lights in Wickford was £4,048, minus a £1,000 donation from Basildon Council towards the costs

New lights in 2018

With money raised from last year’s event we have bought 10 new light columns at a cost of £3,074 which are in the middle of the high street. 

All the other lights are those we have inherited and hope to improve over the next few years.

Some lights have not been put up this year after they failed health and safety checks.

2019 and beyond

At this year’s fair we raised £3,828 through the buckets and pots! We also raised money from the rides, chestnuts, collection boxes in shops and a Co-op grant as well as sponsorship and programme adverts.

It will cost approximately £15,500 to put up and store the lights and to run the event in 2019. To continue improving the lights we’d need to cover those initial costs then additional lights costs would be

 How cross lights would look

How cross lights would look

  • New lamp-post festoons - £300+ per new fitting

  • Cross street display - £1,000+ and permission of all the high street landlords which can be challenging

  • Wall fitted displays - £108 one-off cost then £190-260 per display depending if it’s a Christmas tree, candles, snowmen etc, plus £130 to fit, remove and store each of these

You can quickly see the costs going up when you break it down!  

As we're a community-led initiative, and with these kinds of numbers, you can see why improving them is going to take some time.

It’s time to act! This is only possible with Wickford working together

There are thousands of adults in Wickford, if each one of them gave a £1, think what could be achieved!

Donate: online here, in several high street shops (see our Facebook page for the list) or on the day 

Business sponsor: If you’re interested in sponsoring or being involved next year, please email info@wickfordatchristmas.co.uk.

Programme adverts: Email wickfordatchristmas.adds@gmail.com if you would like to be in the programme next year.

Volunteer: Join this Facebook group if you want to help out on Sunday 24th November 2019 or at other times in the year.

Join the committee: Do your bit year-round. Email info@wickfordatchristmas.co.uk to find out more.

 How our high street could look

How our high street could look