Campaign hopes public will back plans to get Willesden festive lights this Christmas
PUBLISHED: 17:52 02 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 03 October 2019
The Willesden Green Residents Association (WGRA) is looking to give the high road something to be proud of this winter – with a crowdfunder to purchase some Christmas lights.
The WGRA's Marilyn Naden is one of the local women hoping to brighten up winter nights.
She told this newspaper: "It's been the WGRA working with the Willesden Town Centre Team.
"Lots of people had been asking: 'Why don't we have lights at Christmas or Diwali and other festivals?'
"A group of us got together and decided we would try to change that."
This year the aim is to raise enough money, £5,750, to put lights up in the centre of Willesden Green, but there is an ambitious two-year target to make sure that by 2020 there is £15,000 in the pot.
This would enable the team to put up lights throughout Willesden Green and along the entire High Road.
Marilyn, who lives nearby, added: "So far we have done really well.
"The first phase is for Christmas but next year we will want to do all of the other religious festivals.
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"We've had a really positive reception from local people, and help from many shops putting posters up. I hope they will all contribute."
The association's events man, Alex Colas, added he hoped the lights would be switched on at a celebratory event at the begining of December that would be a community celebration.
He said: "There's not been lights in Willseden High Street for several years now due to lots of local council cuts.
"Residents feel the high street has been let down and isn't what it could be.
"We are looking to have a big public event to celebrate the festive lights, probably on December 7. Everyone will be welcome."
The scheme was inspired by a successful drive to get festive lights last year in Harlesden town centre.
Brent Council will pay the electricity bill for the lights and has contributed through the town centre team.
So far, the fundraiser has gathered £3,300 of its target, but the organisers remain hopeful of hitting £5,750 by Friday next week, which is its funding deadline.
If it fails to meet this, it has promised to buy as many lights as possible anyway.
To support the crowdfunder, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/wg-festive-lights
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