Bonnybridge missing out on Christmas sparkle of other towns, claims Provost

Bonnybridge is missing out on Christmas lights and festive events because it is not classed as a town, the Provost of Falkirk has said.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:50 pm

Billy Buchanan, who is also a local councillor in the town, hit out after seeing a list of events that will be hosted in December by the district’s main town centres.

Falkirk, Denny, Bo’ness, Grangemouth and Stenhousemuir will all get a share of the festive fun, which includes a giant snow globe, Santa’s Grotto and Santa’s Post Office as well as craft workshops, live music and choirs.

Shoppers will also be encouraged to visit local businesses by following the Christmas Toy Soldier Trail, while they may be lucky enough to win a Falkirk and District Gift Card from a festive character.

Falkirk town centre lit up for Christmas (Pic: Michael Gillen)

The Provost believes that these events should be shared out more fairly and there is no reason that places such as Bonnybridge, Banknock and the Braes should not also get some entertainment to attract visitors.

In particular, he believes Bonnybridge is just as good for shops as anywhere else.

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Mr Buchanan said: “Bonnbridge and other places are losing out and I believe the events the council is doing, especially at Christmas time, should be rolled out all over the district.

Provost Billy Buchanan (Pic: Picture Michael Gillen)

“It shouldn’t be left to local groups and organisations to fend for themselves.

“A group supported by the community council raised funding and we have great lights in Bonnybridge now but that wasn’t the council – that was the local community.”

Mr Buchanan admits that all shops have been affected by the impact of the pandemic and a general move to buying online.

“Denny gets a number of events all the time but I feel that Bonnybridge has one of the best shopping areas in Falkirk district.

“We’ve got such a diversity of businesses for the size of it – you name it, Bonnybridge has got it!”

“I would encourage people to get out and about and shop in your local areas!” he said. “Wee shops right across Falkirk district have got lots to offer!

Mr Buchanan says he has highlighted this issue for many years.

One year he even paid for Christmas lights personally and put them on a tree, only for the council to take them down as they had not passed any electrical safety tests.

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “Bonnybridge has a Christmas tree and lights erected each year.

“Additional feature lighting is brought into the four district centres in the area as well as Falkirk town centre.

“If local communities want to bring in their own arrangements, we will happily work with them where we can, to allow connection to our lighting columns and to ensure proper health and safety checks can be carried out etc.

“This has been done recently with a number of groups.

“Funding for events is limited (both financially and geographically) to the four district towns and Falkirk town centre.

“We are happy to provide in-kind support to community events across the area where possible.”

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