Following the success of Festive Northenden 2018, Northenden Neighbourhood Forum is fundraising to provide Christmas lights in the Village again in 2019.
A festive looking village helps us to feel better, makes shoppers and visitors feel welcome, and gives us all some community pride. The picture shows actor Adam Thomas switching on last year's lights - thank you so much to everyone who donated last year.
The campaign aims to raise enough money to put lighting all the way down the high street (Palatine Rd) as we did in 2018. If we can raise that bit more, we would like to extend the lights onto Church Rd as well.
Last year’s larger tree outside Tesco was successful and we’re looking to repeat that too.
There are also the wall-mounted trees that we purchased last year which can be re-affixed to buildings where we have permission.
We’re planning a switch on and celebratory event with entertainment, craft & gift stalls, amusements, children's entertainment, food and drink. This will be held on Sunday 1 December and we’re working with Northenden Social Club who have offered use of their indoor and outdoor space, to enable a welcoming environment for the community to gather.
As part of Festive Northenden, Wythenshawe Cricket & Sports Club will also hold a children's Christmas Party on 7 December.
As we did in 2018 we are applying for funding from Manchester City Council and local businesses are getting involved with sponsorship but we would also like to invite our community to participate through this crowdfunding campaign.
Your pledges, large or small, will make a difference to what we can organise for the Northenden community.
A high volume of pledges from residents will demonstrate local support and may lead to greater funding from business and other sponsors.
The local newspaper, Your Local Voice, will support the campaign and event with coverage, and with your help, we hope to move forward and light up Northenden this Christmas.
Who is organising this?
Northenden Neighbourhood Forum (NNF) has agreed to co-ordinate the fundraising, make grant applications and approach possible sponsors. Several NNF Committee members have volunteered to undertake work on this, with help from other NNF members.
What is NNF ?
It’s an organisation established to contribute to and improve the social, cultural, economic and environmental well-being of Northenden. The area it covers is Northenden Village, and anyone who lives, works, or operates a business in the area is entitled to join, free of charge.
We hold monthly general meetings about issues of interest and concern to residents and workers, and provide information via our Facebook page and Twitter accounts.
Who will be handling the money?
NNF’s bank account will be used. The NNF Committee are responsible for administrating the finances of NNF on behalf of the membership.
What about people who don’t have internet access – is there some way for them to contribute?
Yes, we have cash collection tins at Northenden Social Club on Palatine Rd, and Wythenshawe Cricket Club on Longley Lane, and some local shops.
We can also receive cheques made payable to ‘Northenden Neighbourhood Forum’. Please place in an envelope marked ‘NNF – Christmas Appeal’ and hand in at Taylors Newsagent on Palatine Rd.
What will happen to the money if the target isn't reached?
All money contributed via this crowdfunding site will be earmarked for Christmas expenditure in the Village, on lights, trees and/or the Christmas switch-on event. If there is a shortfall, we will undertake what we can with the money provided. There are some items that have definitely been ordered such as the lights on Palatine Rd whilst other proposals are subject to funding. If there is a surplus, it will be carried forward to Christmas 2020.
Shouldn’t the Council be providing Christmas Lights ?
Manchester City Council officers do provide support for Christmas provision, and £1,000 has been allocated by MCC from the Neighbourhood Investment Fund (NIF) this year towards Christmas in Northenden Village.
However the Council is not in a financial position to meet the full cost of any Christmas lights. There was a lack of any lights in the Village in 2017. In 2018 NNF launched a successful Crowdfunder and thanks to the generosity of local businesses and residents we were able to fund 22 light sets, a large Christmas tree and a switch-on event involving business and community.
Will there be a Christmas Tree?
Yes, it is planned that there will be a large tree outside Tesco.
How are the costs determined?
The costs of installing the lights on Manchester City Council’s street lights and poles, using the Council’s electricity supply, are set by the Council’s contractor (Amey) as part of its agreement with MCC. We have no control over these costs. However, the council does provide a 50% contribution towards the total costs when lights are hired through their Street Lighting Team.
Are you planning to buy light sets – surely it’s cheaper than hiring them each time…
We’re exploring whether this makes economic sense. The saving on hire costs may, over time, exceed the initial purchase costs, depending on how long the lights last. However the savings may not be as great as first appears, as the cost of installation and disconnection/removal is quite a high proportion of the total cost and that will not change if we own rather than hire the lights.
In fact the installation may cost more if we have to arrange it ourselves rather than hiring through the MCC Street Lighting Team (see previous answer). There’s also the issue of where the lights will be stored safely for the rest of the year & if there’s a cost attached to that, who would arrange and pay for repairs should a light set become faulty or damaged either in storage or when erected, plus the need in future years to re-certify the electrical safety of the lights to the satisfaction of MCC’s contractors.
Will I be able to see what the money is spent on?
Yes, a full breakdown of exactly what is purchased, how much it costs and who it has been purchased from or provided by, will be obtainable from NNF. Also, if anyone would like to see the income and expenditure from the 2018 Crowdfunder, or has any queries about the finances, please contact NNF (see last question for email address).
Why can’t the traders pay? It’s their businesses it’s affecting
We have had pledges of support already from some companies with a presence on our high street, and it is hoped that all Northenden’s traders will want to make some level of donation. Decent contributions from traders are essential to make a success of this project, and NNF will be highlighting where possible those who make substantial donations.
That said, it is a tough time for many retailers and it’s unlikely that we would be able to afford the lights through contributions from shopkeepers alone.
Residents will also benefit from the lights and events and we’re looking to them to contribute too.
So what’s the benefit of this?
Last year there was a feel-good factor in the community - residents, children, shoppers, traders – when the lights were switched on.
The project is about the well-being of the whole Northenden community, not any particular group. It’s OUR village and we’ll all benefit from enjoying the lights and the festive cheer they’ll provide. It also presents a better impression to the many people that travel to and through our Village.
Can anyone donate ?
Absolutely ! Please spread the word to all who may be interested, including people with Northenden connections past and present.
You don’t have to live in the Village, and you don’t have to be an NNF member to contribute.
Can my donation be anonymous ?
I can’t afford to give much. Is it worth it ?
Absolutely, yes. If everyone in the village gives something, however small, we can easily reach our target. It’s all the contributions added together that makes a decent total. We can’t do it with the support of just a few donors, however generous – reaching the target will require a large number of us all to do our bit.
I’d like to help by volunteering
Your offer is very welcome. NNF is always seeking new people to help with projects to benefit the Village and there are various ways to get involved. Please email email@example.com or message us via Facebook with more details.