Southport BID are set to start a series of announcements next week about their exciting plans for this Christmas and Halloween season. The BID, who were recently voted in by businesses for a second five year term, fund the towns Christmas decorations. The money raised from local businesses funds the town centre lights and tree and the BID put on the huge Christmas switch on event each year. There are some new attractions and events being planned for this season, but the BID regret the ice rink won’t be among them.
They say of the decision “Lots of people had lots of fun on our open-air ice rink last year and Southport BID has worked very hard for the last three months trying to find the funding to recreate the attraction as part of our Christmas package for the town in 2019. The ice rink in 2018 was part funded, through Sefton Council, by funds given to the town by North Western Trains following the disruption of strike action during the year. Unfortunately, there is no funding available to the BID this year so the Board were forced to make a difficult decision not to put the ice rink on. The ice rink would cost almost a quarter of our annual budget and if we add in the Christmas tree, our beautiful lights and the light switch on event it would take half of the total annual budget. As we head into a new term we had to review whether this represented the best possible value to all of our levy payers, all possibilities have been looked into and it was not something we decided upon lightly”
Susannah Porter, Chair of Southport BID said “as we have previous announced we are conducting formal consultation with levy payers to find out more about how they would like to see their levy spent in the town and ensure our projects and activity reflects the balance of everyone’s priorities. We will review the possibility of an ice rink for the future based on feedback, or if more funding becomes available to us.”
Sarah Rodriguez, Event Coordinator for Southport BID said “We are planning some other great entertainment and town centre activities for families during the Christmas period, to draw visitors into the town, we will be announcing plans very soon. We hope you are looking forward to this year’s Christmas light switch on on Sunday 17 November! It is our headline event and the biggest in the town centre. It has grown each year and for 2019 we have some stunning new decorations and fantastic acts planned! Watch this space!”
Announcements about their attraction for Halloween will be made this weekend and the first of the Christmas announcements next week. For more information and updates head to southportbid.com or follow them on social channels @southportbid