Alnwick's Christmas lights to be expanded to benefit more traders in Narrogate

Alnwick’s Christmas lights display is to be extended so all traders on Narrowgate reap the benefit.

Saturday, 12th October 2019, 16:45 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th October 2019, 14:13 pm
Millie Snaith had the honour of switching the Christmas lights on in 2018. Picture by Jane Coltman

The news was revealed by Tim Kirton, Alnwick Town Council projects and funding officer, at a meeting on Thursday.

Mr Kirton, reporting on the last Alnwick Forum meeting, said: “The Christmas lights are going to go all the way down the street to encourage footfall to the far end of Narrowgate.”

However, there are still issues to overcome as some of the buildings are listed, reported Coun Gordon Castle, chairman of the Christmas lights team.

Narrowgate in Alnwick.

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Mr Kirton said the Forum had also received a visit from Paul Jones, director of local services at Northumberland County Council, to update on the Narrowgate pedestrianisation scheme.

“He said the feedback had generally been very positive,” reported Mr Kirton. “There had been no loss of parking and people were generally spending more time on the street.

“However, he is aware of the negative comments. There is a belief a lot of those are anecdotal rather than factual so he has commissioned work to measure what the response really is.”

Two separate surveys have been issued, one for traders in the town centre and another for residents or visitors.

A survey of the businesses was carried out in May, which showed two thirds of the businesses on Bondgate Within and Narrowgate supported some changes to the street environment, with pedestrianisation being the most favoured option. This followed a public consultation in November last year that revealed that 67% of respondents favoured a pedestrianised street.

The street has been closed to traffic since the end of July as part of a trial to test how the road network would cope. Cameras have been installed to monitor traffic movements.

More permanent features have also been added to make the street more inviting for residents and visitors. Other improvements to the street are being planned, including banners.

To take the survey go to alnwick.stickyworld.com

The survey is running for until Sunday, October 27 and all responses are confidential. A summary of the findings will be presented to the Alnwick Forum in November.