Fort festive fund nearly half-way to Christmas lights target

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Organisers of the appeal to raise enough funds to cover the costs of festive lighting along Fort William High Street this Christmas say they have raised almost half of the £8,000 target.

Committee member Sasha McKinlay, said, traditionally, the High Street area had 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.

‘Many people in the community enjoy the atmosphere that lights create during this dark season in the Highlands.

‘It also encourages footfall and a festive spirit, making it more likely that local people will ‘shop local’ and help to instil a sense of pride in the town,’ she said.

This venture is just the start of what it is hoped will be an ongoing fund to ensure future festive installations and events will take place.

So far, the FWFF has raised £3,800, which is a mix of individual, business, and charity donations through its Just Giving page and collection tins on the High Street.

Sasha added: ‘Our goal is still to reach £8000, which is the cost to hire the lights and the installation fees from the council; if we don’t raise this amount, we will still be able to hire a portion of the equipment.

‘The lights will be switched on in the High Street on November 26, with Santa’s Grotto situated at the Town Team Hub on the Parade.

‘We are in the process of organising a raffle and are looking for volunteers to run activities up and down the High Street, as has been the case with previous gatherings.

‘If you can organise an event on the night, the FWFF will publicise and support it in any way we can; there are only five of us on the committee, and we are unable to run everything ourselves, so we need help from the community.’

To make a contribution go to the Fort Willian Festive Fund page on social media which is linked to a donations page including a QR code which makes it even easier.

For a more low-tech solution, collecting tins should soon be on display in shops, where every penny can add to the brightness and Christmas cheer of the town.