Torbay Council announce Christmas activities for Torquay

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Torbay Council have announced plans for Christmas activities in Torquay town centre starting in November.

Plans for creative installations, workshops and choirs have been planned to run from Saturday 26 November to Saturday 24 December 2016.

The announcement by Torbay Council follows a previous announcement from Torquay Chamber of Commerce that the Christmas lights in the town centre had been cancelled following a failed fundraising attempt.

A spokesperson for Torquay Chamber of Commerce said:
“It is with great regret that the Torquay Chamber of Commerce must announce the cancellation of the Christmas lights in Union Street for this year.

“Having been asked by the Mayor to effectively “rescue” the lights from a backdrop of major losses last year, and despite the best efforts of those concerned it has not been possible to overcome some very serious obstacles in time for this year.

“We will continue with our efforts and intend to bring back the lights next year,”
Full statement here: http://www.torquaychamberofcommerce.co.uk/christmas-lights-2016

Torbay Council will be working in partnership with Cornish based event agency Mackerel Sky to deliver the festive activities. This has been made possible through funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and Elected Mayor Gordon Oliver’s event fund.

Torbay’s elected Mayor, Gordon Oliver, said: “I am delighted that there are going to be a number of different Christmas activities taking place in Torquay town centre. It will help bring business to our high street and create a friendly and festive atmosphere for shoppers.”

Claire Eason-Bassett, Executive Producer from Mackerel Sky, said “We are really looking forward to seeing Torquay town centre hosting fantastic new work created by local artists and we have been thrilled by the response to the plans so far. It is really important to us that these events celebrate the extraordinary place that Torquay is and grows a new tradition for the town and region.”

There are plans for four spaces around the town centre to host sound and light installations made by local artists. There will also to be free activities available each Saturday including:

  • Saturday 26 November – a story trail throughout the town centre
  • Saturday 3 and  Saturday 10 December – craft and lantern workshops
  • Saturday 17 December – a choir competition which will be open to the public vote

Mackerel Sky was awarded the contract to deliver the Christmas event following a rigorous tender process. The event will be covered by the Coastal Communities for £25,000, and £5,000 from the Mayor’s Fund. The Coastal Communities funding cannot be used for anything other than a new event with the aim for it to be sustainable in future years.

More details of the programme, including timings, artists and how to vote for your favourite choir performance, will be forthcoming in early November. There will also be a Christmas Market in Torquay Town Centre operating on weekends/late night shopping evenings from the 26 November and every day Christmas week up to Christmas Eve.

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