Bah humbug: No Neon Noel due to Christmas cash cuts

Neon Noel at Eastbourne Town Hall SUS-160712-105835001
Neon Noel at Eastbourne Town Hall SUS-160712-105835001

The hugely popular Neon Noel that lit up Eastbourne Town Hall in the run up to Christmas for the last two years will not be going ahead this festive season.

The light show extravaganza was projected onto the Grove Road building on nights throughout December in 2015 and 2016 and drew in big crowds as visitors came from far and wide.

It was the brainchild of the Chamber of Commerce and Westend Studios in Eastbourne.

But officials say there is no cash this year for the light show and it will not be held this December.

The lack of cash is also being put down to a delay in the Your Eastbourne BID project, which asks traders and businesses in the town centre to contribute an agreed sum of money to bring in more visitors and shoppers and turn the town into a ‘wonderful shopping experience’.

The delay is also because of this year’s county council and general elections.

Chamber bosses say, however, that the popular Christmas Market, which has been held at the Bandstand will go ahead – but this year it will be in the pedestrianised precinct between Nationwide and Boots with some of the sheds outside the Enterprise Centre.

The market – introduced with cash from the government after the pier fire – will be on from 10am-6pm from Saturday December 9 until the evening of Sunday December 17.

Eastbourne Chamber of Commerce boss Christina Ewbank said the decision to move the market was made after last year’s Storm Angus caused havoc on the seafront.

“The storm treated the sheds like skittles,” said Christina. “It lifted one up and smashed it into matchsticks on the beach.

“Eastbourne will be a winter wonderland this year for Christmas shoppers and although we don’t have Neon Noel, there will be plenty for all the family to enjoy including Father Christmas.”