People power looks to have saved an ever-popular Christmas event in Lindley.
The future of Lindley Christmas Evening was in doubt after Kirklees Council’s financial crisis meant there is far less money in the Lindley ward budget to spend on events in that area of Huddersfield.
The evening, which this year is due to take place on Tuesday, December 5 from 6pm to 8pm, usually attracts thousands of people but now costs around £3,000 to stage which is a third more than it was last year.
Cutbacks meant organisers could only have £1,100 of council cash from the ward budget this year and so sprang into action with Lindley Community Group supporter Sophie Conaghan setting up a crowdfunding page with a target to raise £1,000.
She set the page up last Friday (October 13) and the community quickly rallied around, raising more than £1,000 in just five days.
Sophie said: “We will leave the page open as the event does cost a lot to stage and traffic management is the highest cost. People realise that council grants for these kinds of events will now be far fewer and if people want them to go ahead in their communities they need to give their time, their money and then turn up to support them.
“The support for this one has been brilliant which shows that people want this very popular event to continue. Businesses in Lindley have also dug deep to support us separately from the crowdfunding.”
Lindley councillor Cahal Burke – who is also Mayor of Kirklees this year – said: “The response has been incredibly humbling and to raise so much so quickly shows the support we have in the Lindley area for our community events.
“People have gone above and beyond in a cost of living crisis when they are feeling the pinch and struggling themselves. Lots of businesses have been very helpful too.
“We used to be able to fund the entire event from council money but it’s no secret there is a lot less council money available these days.
“We struggled financially to put on our other major community events in the summer such as the carnival, street party and run and, going forward, we will be relying on businesses and the community to support us to make them happen.
“We won’t get anywhere near what we need to run these events from the council but it’s so important to continue putting on community events to bring people together.
“We are now there or thereabouts with the funding for this year’s Lindley Christmas Evening so we hope it will take place and we are now trying to get everything organised.”
Lindley Christmas Evening is held on Lidget Street through the centre of the village with shops opening late and the street lined with stalls run by independent producers and retailers selling handmade and craft goods.
There is traditionally food and drink including hot roasted chestnuts, mince pies and hot mulled cider. Musical entertainment usually includes a stage in the communal gardens, a performance from Lindley School Choir and Santa should be there in his grotto.
To support the event go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Lindley-Community-Christmas-Street-Party
Lindley Community Group always needs more volunteers.