Bid steps in to keep Christmas dazzling
TRADERS in the city centre have been given good news after Hull Bid stepped in to brighten up streets with festive lights.
Hull Business Improvement District is supporting the switch-on for the festive season by investing in extra Christmas lights.
Its efforts will extend the area covered by the illuminations to incProspect Street and Brook Street from Thursday.
Hull Bid city centre manager Kathryn Shillito said additional funding was allocated when it became clear the council would not have the Christmas lights budget to cover the entire city centre.
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She said: "Brook Street and Prospect Street are two of the major retail areas in the city centre and we felt it was vital to make provision and create a Christmas feel.
"The lights that have been chosen are tasteful and we're sure the businesses and shoppers will like them."
The initiative has been welcomed by businesses in the area.
Lee Appleton, centre manager of the Prospect Centre, said Prospect Street and Brook Street are becoming two of the busiest streets in the city centre.
He said: "It's nice to see some investment here to create a festive mood and to add to what the businesses here are already doing.
"We are on a roll at the moment and haven't had a bad month in the past 12, footfall is up by 10 per cent and we are looking at touching seven million visitors for the first time since the redevelopment of Ferensway."
Despite the positive response from some traders, others have hit out, saying they have been asking for lights for years.
Dave Green, manager at Johnston's Butchers in Carr Lane, is part of Retailers Against the Business Improvement District.
He said: "It just seems that the additional lights are being put up near big stores and not supporting independent traders.
"We used to have them all through the city centre but now they stop at Primark and we don't have any.
"Traders in South Street have been after them for years and it seems as though we don't have a say in it at all."
In previous years, Hull Bid has helped to fund Christmas lighting in Paragon Arcade and Hepworth's Arcade, bringing approval from the businesses in Hull's treasured Victorian retail arcades.
Mark Fanthorpe, of Fanthorpe's hi-fi and electrical retailers, said: "The Christmas lights in Hepworth's Arcade really make the businesses feel a part of the city centre's festive celebrations.
"We receive a lot of tourists and visitors coming to see the arcade's Victorian architecture and the traditional garlands enhance the atmosphere.
"Without Hull Bid's support, the arcade may not have had Christmas decorations, which could affect trade as the lights are an attraction and encourage people to walk down the arcade."
Visit www.christmasinhull. co.uk for the programme of city centre Christmas events and activity.