‘One-off’ lights cash boost

Hawick Community Council’s Christmas lights fund has received a cash injection of more than £4,000 from Scottish Borders Council.

The local authority has approved the “one-off” payment from its community grant scheme with a proviso that community councillors “revise fundraising plans” for the future.

Last month, we revealed that the community council was battling a £3,000 deficit in funds to pay for December’s Christmas lights display, and the town body attributed much of this shortfall to the £4,100 bill to stress test the lights, which was around £2,000 more than had been anticipated.

Community council chair Marion Short said: “We’re absolutely delighted that our application for the full amount of £4,100 was successful, and grateful thanks to council officers and elected members.”

A council spokesperson said: “The grant was to provide one-off support to meet unexpected running costs linked to Christmas lighting activity.

“The community grant scheme can provide one-off support to groups facing temporary financial difficulty and a grant was awarded on condition Hawick Community Council revised its fundraising plans to bridge this funding gap in future years.”

Mrs Short said there were several Christmas lights fund-raisers in the pipeline, including a film night, a coffee morning and bag-packing at one of the local supermarkets.