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The lights WILL go on!

The lights WILL go on!

Monday 13 November 2023

The lights WILL go on!

Monday 13 November 2023


Sark's Chamber of Commerce is calling on the community and businesses to rally around to ensure the island can be lit up this Christmas.

The organisation has said it is "fully intending" for the lights to go on annually but says it will need everyone's support to make sure that happens.

Last week, Sark Electricity Limited announced that it had to stop funding the island's Christmas Lights as it couldn't justify the expense any more.

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SEL has always paid for the lights themselves, as well as the power, the manpower in installing them and taking them down. That alone took three workers around three weeks split over December and January.

In a statement issued last week, SEL said it was "no longer able to fully fund the Sark Christmas Lights.

"In past years the financial burden of installing, taking down and covering the electricity costs have all fallen to SEL entirely.

"The manpower alone requires roughly three weeks for our three guys to install and take down the lights; alongside financing the fuel costs and installation needs."

SEL explained how its budgets are being squeezed all the time and as it continues to try and bring down the price of power for Sark residents and businesses it couldn't justify continuing the festive expense.

Instead, it asked for the community to support efforts to ensure the Christmas lights continue to go up and on every year.

"Elsewere these costs are covered by donations from local business and Government and SEL would fully support such an initiative to be adopted locally."

This rallying call was support by Jax Robin, the St Peter Port who co-ordinates the fundraising for the town Christmas lights in Guernsey every year.

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The Sark Chamber of Commerce has also stepped in quickly to add its support and to assure residents and visitors that the Christmas lights will be up on The Avenue this year.

"The Sark Christmas Lights have been the cornerstone of the festive season on the island for a number of years," Chamber said. It also acknowledged the huge financial and practical support that SEL has invested in the lights.

"For many years Sark Electricity Limited has covered the costs and manpower of installation and taking down of all the lights, as well the electricity usage.

"The cost of purchasing new and replacement lights has been covered by the Sark Chamber of Commerce and generous donations from the community.

"This year SEL have advised that they are no longer able to cover the ongoing setup and running costs of the event as costs continue to rise, which we understand.

"The Chamber is fully intending to make the Christmas Lights happen this year, we will need the support of the community and Bailiwick businesses to keep this running as an annual event.

"We are currently working with SEL on costings to work out the best plan of action moving forward. We will have more information available over the coming days."

No date has yet been advertised for the switching on of the Christmas lights.

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