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City sparkles for Christmas

Members of the cast of Aladdin help turn on the lights
Members of the cast of Aladdin help turn on the lights

Canterbury city centre is sparkling with festive spirit thanks to Christmas lights funded with a levy raised by traders. Hundreds of people gathered on Thursday in St George’s to see the £40,000 illuminations turned on by kmfm presenters Rob Wills and Andy Walker, who were jomed by stars from the cast of panto Aladdin. Also supporting the festivities were rising musical stars CoCo and the Butterfields, Canterbury Gospel Choir and opera star Hercules Smith.

The Canterbury Christmas lights
The Canterbury Christmas lights

Last year the city centre was left in the dark after the city council decided it could not afford Christmas lights. But the Canterbury Connected Business Improvement District (Bid) group, created following a ballot of traders, is raising £500,000 from retailers which is being spent on enhancements to the city centre. Bid boss Bob Jones said:

“The city looks spectacular and we haven’t finished yet because there are still more lights to go up.

Sadie Belsey, six, holds on to her light stick
Sadie Belsey, six, holds on to her light stick

We have had lots of great feedback about how fantastic it looks and the switchon was terrific with a great turnout. We have also been doing a lot of extra cleaning in the city centre, which goes beyond the litter picking and bin emptying done by the council’s contractors steam cleaning of pavements and phone boxes. There is a clear business plan of how we will be spending the money raised from traders on improving and promoting the city.”

Herne Bay Gazette, November 27th 2014

Canterbury Gospel Choir soloist Will Hester
Canterbury Gospel Choir soloist Will Hester

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