The cost of making Herefordshire look festive this season has been revealed.

With its high-profile annual Christmas lights switch-on event featuring well-known acts, Hereford is the biggest spender.

City council clerk Steve Kerry said: “Including the costs of the switching-on gig, which is part and parcel of the annual programme, it is around £60,000.”

In September, city councillors added £3,000 to the budget to help maintain the calibre of music acts at the switch-on event on November 19, which featured 1980s legend Rick Astley and boyband Let Loose.

Separately, Herefordshire Council is responsible for Christmas displays in the city's Maylord Orchards shopping centre, on which it spent £16,388 last year, and had similar plans this year.

Leominster budgeted £17,500 for festive displays of which it has spent £16,272, and is holding onto the rest for repairs and other remaining expenses.

Instead of a major lights switch-on event and Victorian Market in Corn Square, the town this year had stalls in the Leominster sports and social club, Grange Court, the Rankin Club and the Lion Ballroom.


On a budget consultation with residents, the town council found most wanted the same or more spent next Christmas, a town council spokesperson said.

Unusually, Bromyard has for decades contracted out its Christmas lights display to the volunteer-run Bromyard Christmas Lights Association, to which it gives an annual grant of £4,000.

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Individual and corporate supporters provide further financial support, though the association says all time, machinery and equipment is donated.

Ledbury budgeted £23,000 for Christmas lights and installation and a further £1,000 on this year’s switch-on event, held on November 26. Last year the council budgeted £13,260 for lights but ended up spending £23,500.

Ross-on-Wye has upped in festive spend this year from £10,700 last year, to £14,300 this – split between £6,000 for the town’s Christmas Fayre and lights switch-on event, £6,900 for the lights themselves, and £1,400 for the town’s Christmas tree by the Market House.

Kington budgeted £12,000 for Christmas decorations this year.