Dundalk BIDS (Business Improvement District Scheme) is forging ahead with plans to bring NEW Christmas Illuminations to the town.
As the people of Dundalk and visitors to the town have been celebrating St Patrick’s Day and more recently the Easter centenary celebrations, Dundalk BIDS is looking further ahead to have the town looking it’s best for Christmas 2016.
Dundalk BIDS Manager Martin McElligott has put together a comprehensive plan for replacing seasonal lighting with the latest in energy efficient, lightweight illuminations.
Issues arose with Town Centre lighting last year, with parts of the town without any illumination and business owners explaining that it was left to the same people every year to pay for the lighting.
As a local man himself, Martin said, ‘I have very fond memories and have always been filled with pride at Christmas in our Town. After consulting with many businesses on the subject, I was happy to see we all shared that common ground. It became clear that we need to take a huge jump forward while still taking into account the historic values of the streetscape and the Town Centre as a viable well illuminated Christmas destination.’
He added that there needs to be full support for the new lighting scheme. “What has been clearly unfair in the past is that the cost of running the Christmas lights has been down to the very generous contributions of a certain percentage of business owners in this town, while other retailers and business owners had shown apathy and a disappointing lack of interest in paying any monies towards their Christmas Lights.
“I have met with Christmas illumination specialists with experience in town and city centre lighting and have come up with extensive visual impressions the Dundalk streetscape. You only have to look at these to see how fantastic our main streets would become. The project would be led by ourselves here in Dundalk BIDS, on behalf of our town businesses, and assisted by Louth County Council and Dundalk Chamber of Commerce. When ordered, they could arrive here well in time for Christmas 2016.
Martin added that he would like to see those who had not contributed, now stepping up to play their part.
“BIDS will be contacting all relevant business owners to ask them to join with us all in paying for the lights. There has to be fairness.”
Martin concluded “Dundalk did not look its best last Christmas, and understandably people were fed up paying so much for lighting while others did not. Retailers who I have mentioned this to are very optimistic about our proposals as this way we can have quality lighting, with an equitable and affordable system of payment.”