Alnwick Christmas lights switch-on event cancelled due to social distancing concerns

There will be no formal switch-on of Alnwick’s Christmas lights this year, it has been announced.

Monday, 18th May 2020, 5:08 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 12:13 am

The lights committee has taken the early decision due to the current difficulties in organising the display and ensuring the safety of all involved.

Coun Gordon Castle, committee chairman, announced the ‘unavoidable’ decision on social media.

“There will not be a formal Alnwick Christmas Lights switch on this year,” he wrote. “We cannot assume that mass gatherings will be permissible by November.

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Alnwick Christmas lights.

“We plan to put up a tree in the marketplace and light it up as much as possible together with some smaller scale decorations.

“We won’t be putting up any frames or working outside the marketplace.

“It is a disappointment, but we simply cannot class the work as essential or plan for satisfactory social distancing in our construction unit where all of last year’s displays are stored and need refurbishment, a major task that normally would have started by now.

“We have to look on this year as a furlough year for the team, but it will be back in business for next year.

The Malhotra Group is chief sponsor of the Alnwick Christmas lights display.

“I’m sure the public will understand this and support the team of volunteers, all unpaid.“

The company, which operates the Hillcrest care home and is building a new purpose-built facility at Lisburn Terrace, put up an initial £7,000 with further annual payments of £5,000 until 2023 at least.

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