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Christmas lights in Whitstable set to sparkle after successful crowdfunding campaign

By Jodie Nesling

Whitstable is set to sparkle this Christmas thanks to a last-minute crowdfunding campaign to pay for festive lights.

The kindhearted community rallied around after it was revealed the Whitstable District Chamber of Commerce (WDCC), which organises the lights, could not cover costs this year.

In the space of just three weeks thousands was raised through the generosity of residents and small businesses. The Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company (WOFC) made a last minute donation of £3,000 which meant the £22,000 was reached by yesterday's deadline.

Whitstable set to light up once more this Christmas
Whitstable set to light up once more this Christmas

Last week the scheme also received a boost when developer George Wilson contributed £3,000.

Writing on Facebook, the WDCC said: "Well done and thank you to all the fabulous businesses and people of Whitstable who have contributed to our campaign so that we can all enjoy Christmas Lights in Whitstable 2017. We understand that the lights will be fitted early December. Have a wonderful Christmas in Whitstable."

The crowdfunding campaign was set up by resident Karolina Tomic on November 4 after WDCC said they needed money to pay debts accrued from the year before plus up front costs for the lights company.

They entered a three-year contract at £15,000 per year to fund the installation of the lights with an option at the end to buy them for a nominal fee. But unforeseen safety costs plus a failure to generate donations meant the WDCC fell into debt.

Christmas lights used to be funded by the city council but the cash strapped authority pulled the plug five years ago to save money.

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