Bus firm and Hastings traders rally to provide 3 Christmas trees for town

Organisations have stepped in to provide Christmas trees for Hastings following a recent decision by the council not to due to cutbacks.
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The authority said Stagecoach and Hastings Old Town Traders have come together to generously fund three trees.

Last month, Hastings Borough Council said it could no longer afford to provide the tree in the town centre, seen every year at the end of Robertson Street, opposite the old Debenhams building.

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The council also pulled out of providing the large Christmas tree in Butlers Gap, in the Old Town.

Hastings town centre's Christmas decorations. 20/11/21.Hastings town centre's Christmas decorations. 20/11/21.
Hastings town centre's Christmas decorations. 20/11/21.

A council spokesperson said: “During the council’s budget process in February, the difficult decision was made that the council would no longer be able to fund Christmas trees in Hastings as it has done in previous years. This decision was made due to the increasing financial pressures the council faces from rising temporary accommodation costs. However the council agreed to seek sponsorship for the trees this year.

“Following an appeal to local businesses, groups and organisations, Stagecoach and Hastings Old Town Traders have come forward with generous offers to fund three trees for the town. Stagecoach will be sponsoring trees in Hastings Town Centre and Kings Road, St Leonards, while the Old Town Traders will be sponsoring a tree in Butlers Gap, George Street.

“Thanks to the generosity of these local organisations, residents and visitors will be able to enjoy the festive sight of these decorated trees as usual while they are out socialising or Christmas shopping. There are also lots of other festive decorations and fun events happening across Hastings and St Leonards for the whole family to enjoy.”

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Cllr Ali Roark, lead for environment at Hastings Borough Council, said: “We are incredibly thankful to Stagecoach and the Old Town Traders for offering to fund these Christmas trees. This is a real testament to the season of giving and something that I am sure will bring joy to families this festive season.

Hastings Old Town Christmas 2021. Photo by Roberts Photographic.Hastings Old Town Christmas 2021. Photo by Roberts Photographic.
Hastings Old Town Christmas 2021. Photo by Roberts Photographic.

“If you are in town on Saturday, December 2, between 10.30am and 5.30pm, why not pop along to the Old Town Christmas Shopping Day to see the beautiful tree? You will also be able to enjoy the Christmas market, Santa Claus and Mrs Claus (11am to 4pm), a kids treasure hunt, and street entertainment.”

Dan Mayhew, Stagecoach operations manager at Hastings, said: “As a family living locally, we've always looked forward to seeing the town's Christmas trees. When I heard the council would be unable to fund them this year, I thought that's something Stagecoach could help with.

“It's been a tough time lately with the impact of bus driver shortages on our services, so as a team we feel like this is something we can do to help the community and keep a wonderful tradition going at Christmas.”