Christmas lights display in focus

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Plans to provide a Christmas lights display in Inverurie this year are moving forward.

It follows a meeting of the community group Inverurie Events, which convened last Thursday (January 19) to discuss the amount raised so far and look at fundraising over the next 12 months.

Around £3,200 has been gathered, including more than £900 raised from a collection during the successful St Andrew’s Day parade in November.

Inverurie Events decided to launch a major fundraising drive for around £8,000 - £10,000 after councillors rejected an appeal for funding to refurbish the Christmas lights in the town, ruling out a full display.

The group is working with Aberdeenshire Council, Inverurie Business Association (IBA) and Inverurie Traders Association (ITA) in its fundraising plans.

Events chairman Hamish Vernal said: “We have started addressing the issue of the Christmas lights early in terms of the storage, should we buy, should we rent and how we fundraise for that so that was the meat of the discussions.

“We are going to be looking and coming back in four weeks’ time with costed proposals to fundraise throughout the year and some suggestions as to what might happen. We’ve got a sub-committee to deal with that, looking at the question of storage, what would it cost to rent, what it would cost to buy and how we do that it in a progressive way.

“The message is we’re on the case and we’re dealing with it now in plenty of time.”

Mr Vernal stressed there was no desire on the part of Inverurie Events to “trample” on other local groups and what they were planning. Co-ordination was a possibility

Inverurie and District Councillor Richard Cowling, who attended the meeting, said : “Over the last few years there has been a lack of cohesion by getting something down for Christmas so we have started at the right time. They will come back with a report so there is some positive stuff there.

“It is a long hard year to keep the efforts up and keep everybody’s interest, but again it comes back to the people of Inverurie - if you want Christmas lights, think what you can do to help, offer to help wherever you can.”

The next Inverurie Evnts meeting will be on Thursday, February 16, in Inverurie Community Centre at 7pm.