Monifieth celebrates a very special Christmas lights switch-on after people power saves the day

© Paul Smith
The children meet Santa at the Monifieth Christmas lights switch-on.

The hard work of Monifieth’s Christmas lights committee paid off on Wednesday with a large turnout for its community switch-on.

Like every other burgh in Angus, Monifieth faced the prospect of no Christmas lights this year due to the withdrawal of council funding.

However, the town’s community council and Rotary club decided to join forces to see if they could save the display.

© Paul Smith
Young dancers entertain the crowd.

A crowdfunding site was set up, with the aim of collecting £2,500, and within a few weeks the target was exceeded, thanks to donations by local people and businesses.

The efforts were rewarded with smiling faces from young to old as the lights “went live” during an evening of entertainment in the town.

Derek Uchman, of the organising committee, said: “The fantastic generosity of the people of Monifieth has had two benefits.

“Not only has it enabled the lights and the switch-on event to go ahead, but it has also made the people of the town feel proud that they can achieve something like this.

“There is a real buzz about the place.

“It is unlikely that the council will funds the lights again in the foreseeable future, but I feel confident that the people of Monifieth will rally to ensure there is always a festive display in the town centre.”

The switch-on event took place in the Reform Street shopping centre car park and was opened by music from the Monifieth Boys Brigade Pipe Band.

Santa was the special guest at the switch-on which also included Monifieth and District Schools Combined Choir, Monifieth Singers and Wilma Tolmie Dancers.

The council said it can no longer sustain or justify expenditure for Christmas lights because of financial constraints.

However, the local authority continue to provide a range of support to its communities to help them deliver their Christmas lighting displays.

Sheena Cochrane, chair of Monifieth Community Council, said taking ownership of their own lights was a way of “bringing everybody together”.

She said: “So from something negative, it has really become something positive.”