Group aims to ensure Fort festive season lighting brings cheer after Covid

The group's logo which was created by Ali Beradelli. NO F28 FWFF JPG

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A group of volunteers from Lochaber is hoping to raise £8,000 for festive season lighting to make sure this year’s Christmas decorations in Fort William High Street give the town a real boost after last year’s Yuletide Covid lockdown.

Traditionally, the High Street area has been lit up by lights during the festive season to encourage a coming together of the local community in the hub of Lochaber’s shopping district.

However, Highland Council funding for such lighting displays ceased in 2018 and Fort William does not have access to the sort of Common Good and business improvement funds available to places such as Oban and Inverness.

Fort William Festive Fund chairperson Sasha McKinlay explained: ‘Providing a festive atmosphere encourages the local community to ‘shop local’ and helps to influence community pride.

‘Our current objective is to raise funds for the 2021 festive light display in the centre of town. Our ongoing goal is to create a fund that will ensure a festive installation and event each year for our community.

‘If you love celebrating the festive season in town, please consider donating to our Just Giving page. The QR code makes it easy, and our Instagram QR code makes it easy to share our page with others. You can visit the Just Giving page here

‘We’ll be posting updates and more info, including an FAQ, on social media. If you’d like to get involved in ways aside from donating, we’re delighted to accept in-kind donations, services, entertainment, please contact us via our social media pages.

‘A flyer is available on our Facebook page to post in your office, school, shop, or even your market stall to help raise funds. Anyone can use the QR code to get straight to the Just Giving page to make a donation, and our social media links are there, too.

‘If you’d prefer a donation tin, we’re in the process of ordering these, so please get in touch ASAP if you would like one! If you have any problems printing the flyer, just DM us, and we’ll send you the file to your email.

‘We also have collection tins available for High Street businesses – please get in touch if you would like one for your shop or restaurant.’

The fundraising effort will also include money to cover the cost of acquiring Christmas trees for both the High Street and the Parade.