Published: 13:33, 23 November 2018
| Updated: 13:43, 23 November 2018
Nineteen organisations have shared almost £28,000 to brighten up the borough this Christmas.
Swale council originally set aside £25,000 to light up towns and villages but ended up dishing out £27,921.60 for festive displays.
The biggest beneficiary was Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association with £5,000. Faversham Community Christmas Lights was a close second with £4,652.40 followed by Sheerness Town Team with £4,000 and £3,000 for Queenborough Town Council.
Iwade parish council gets £2,000. Eastchurch parish council and Faversham Umbrella both get £1,000.
Plenty of smaller organisations also received money.
Cllr Duncan Dewar-Whalley, cabinet member for finance and performance, said: "We are delighted to have been able to support 19 organisations within the borough with their Christmas lights as we know that local communities take pride in providing these seasonal displays.
“We have awarded nearly £28,000 - slightly more than we originally planned – to help communities celebrate the season and to encourage visitors and residents to get into the Christmas spirit.”
Last year the council spent £30,000 on free bus trips into towns.
Councillors have still refused to bow to pressure from shopkeepers to allow free parking in council car parks on weekends during December.
Both Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association and Sheerness Town Team complained that the last-minute offer of cash came too late to make any significant improvement to this year's lights but welcomed the extra money.
To find out more about community grant schemes, visit www.swale.gov.uk/grants
Sittingbourne Christmas Lights Association £5,000
Faversham Community Christmas Lights £4,652.40
Sheerness Town Team £4,000
Queenborough Town Council £3,000
Iwade Parish Council £2,000
Faversham Umbrella £1,000
Eastchurch parish council £1,000
Lakeview Village Hall £820
Sheerness Market Traders Co-operative £800
Sheerness Children & Families £800
Borden Village Fete Committee £800
Moat Foundation £800
Sheldwich Village Events Management Company £689.93
Balloonatic (Sheerness) £615.98
Upchurch Parish Council £615
The Vineyard (Sittingbourne) £581.98
Hartlip Village Hall £476.31
Lynsted Fete Committee £150
Stalisfield Parish Council £120