Two big companies have put up nearly £10,000 between them to fund Christmas lights for a busy Brighton shopping street.
American Express is donating £8,000 for Christmas lights in St James’s Street and George Street, Brighton.
Jose Vazquez-Mendez, Amex’s vice-president for customer relations, said: “We are delighted to sponsor St James’s Christmas lights this year, lending our support to local businesses in a busy and vibrant area of the city.”
Chris Cooke, chairman of the St James’s Local Action Team, approached Amex seeking their backing for the lights, especially as the company’s building works will cause so much disruption to the area.
Mr Cookw said: “I’m delighted they have been so forthcoming.
“This is great news for the area in these difficult times.
“This allows us to invest in essential infrastructure that will help us with the lights for many years to come.”
Southern Gas Networks has also chipped in with a £1,500 donation.
Zoe Delacata, chairman of the St James’s Area Businesses Group, said: “The Southern Gas gas mains replacement works earlier in the year impacted on trade which businesses are entitled to seek compensation for.
“But businesses came together for the sake of the area and waived their rights in return for this £1,500 donation towards Christmas lights.
“I’m encouraging all local businesses to attend our Businesses Group meeting on Tuesday 16 November at 6pm in the New Madeira Hotel.
“We will be planning how to build on this investment with shop window displays and local events.
“We want to give people even more reasons to visit and support the unique St James’s area.”
Simon Burgess, chairman of the St James’s Area Action Group, said: “We got lights up last year for the first time, but it was all a bit on a wing and a prayer.
“This great investment means we can take a significant step forward in planning properly for the future.
“Our thanks must also go to the Poison Ivy for their fundraising with a further £800 raised last week.
“St James’s is showing that if communities pull together then much can be achieved regardless of the difficult economic times.”
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