Council bosses are working on plans for Perth’s strongest ever Winter Festival line-up to coincide with their bid for City of Culture status.
The celebration, which has become a traditional staple in the local calender, is said to generate a major boost for the local economy.
Last year’s Christmas lights switch-on ceremony – featuring ‘80s icon Billy Ocean and pop band Lawson – is said to have brought about 30,000 people to the city centre and pumped an estimated £1.6 million into the area.
However, a survey found that almost a quarter of businesses who responded claimed the event had a detrimental effect on them.
On Wednesday, members of Perth’s Common Good Committee will be asked to agree funding of nearly £50,000 for two days of fun including the switch-on event.
The amount, similar to previous years, will pay to host a main stage, street entertainment and a parade led by Santa.
It will also pay for other stages, as well as health, safety and welfare costs.
The budget does not include fees for this year’s star performers.
The committee is also asked to consider spending a further £3,000 to dress the city centre for the festive seasons, including a display of 30 Christmas trees.
An extra £8,500 could be spend on replacement lights for St John’s Street. The lights used last year have reached the end of their life, according to the Street Lighting Partnership.
The total cost of last year’s festival was around £166,000.
A report to councillors compiled by business development team leader Alan Graham and city centre manager Leigh Brown states: “The development of a strong year round events and festivals portfolio will be an important feature of Perth’s City of Culture bid and will reinforce the city’s credentials as a cultural and events tourism destination.
“Accordingly, with continued investment there is scope to develop further the Winter Festival and specifically the Christmas Lights event as a weekend festival and to market it as such to as wide an audience as possible.”
The stars of the 2016 show, which takes place on November 19, will be revealed at a later date.