Christmas cuts

Drop Folder News/News Sport. 21/11/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Christmas lights parade...2010'The parade makes it's way through the town centre.'104683m.
Drop Folder News/News Sport. 21/11/10. Pic Kevin Allen.'Christmas lights parade...2010'The parade makes it's way through the town centre.'104683m.

CHRISTMAS is getting an overhaul in Scarborough as the expenditure on last year’s festive events is deemed a waste of money.

The Christmas lights switch on parade and the reindeer parade were part of 2011’s town centre festivities.

The two annual events came in at a cost of £10,500 to Scarborough Council.

After analysis of footfall figures during the two parades, the events have been deemed ineffective in boosting town centre trade, and as a result will not be held next year.

The findings were revealed during a Christmas ‘de-brief’ for traders, organised by the council’s inward investment manager Nick Taylor, during which business owners were invited to feedback on festive trading.

Speaking about Christmas events in the town centre Mr Taylor said: “We spent £10,500 on events at Christmas. We did two events – the Christmas lights switch on and the reindeer parade.

“We have analysed footfall figures for those two days.

“We may as well have thrown the money in the bucket as we didn’t see any reaction in the footfall figures at all.

“It wasn’t money well spent. We want to spend the money more meaningfully next year.

“We did spend quite a bit of money on advertising. Its a great pity it didn’t make any difference at all.

“We now need to look at other alternatives.”

Traders at the meeting, held at Scarborough Library yesterday, agreed the Christmas Lights switch on needed a change, describing the event a “stale”.

However there were mixed views surrounding the cancellation of the reindeer parade, which some deemed a popular event for families. Other traders suggested the use of donkeys instead of reindeer to help cut cost.

Mr Taylor said: “I believe we should have a programmed number of events going on around the town centre, which we would like to spread over an entire weekend.

“We would have all sorts of activities going on a different points, including performances and a Christmas Market down near the Market Hall.

“We could even look at town criers telling people where everything is, and might look at having greeters on points of arrival to the town.

“We would like to offer something different, very vibrant and very fun taking place all weekend, and we would promote the socks of it.”

During the meeting traders also complained about Scarborough’s Christmas Tree in the Westborough precinct, describing it as “dismal” and “tatty”.

Mr Taylor said the issue would be re-visited ahead of next Christmas.