Future vision for switch-on spectacular

Morale-boosting new life is being breathed into Fakenham's festive celebrations this weekend.The town lights up for Christmas on Saturday, with a new organising finger on the button.

Morale-boosting new life is being breathed into Fakenham's festive celebrations this weekend.

The town lights up for Christmas on Saturday, with a new organising finger on the button. The Fakenham Area Partnership has ambitious long term plans for a spectacular event which will see the return of large crowds of festive fun-seekers who once packed the town's streets to celebrate.

The FAP has been greatly encouraged by the support of partners from community and business sponsors for this year's spectacular and hopes to build on that in future years.

This year the plan is to concentrate on the town centre and over the next few years, as more cash is raised, to roll the programme outwards through Norwich Street, Bridge Street and Oak Street.


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And a fund-raising programme of events will be staged during 2009 to build up the necessary funds.

The efforts of FAP are being supported by Fakenham Chamber of Trade, which has always worked hard to provide the town with a Christmas lights programme.

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President Stuart Cutler is fully behind what FAP is aiming to do and has revealed plans for a major fundraising programme for the lights, including a concert by Bee Gees, Take That and Robbie Williams tribute bands at Fakenham racecourse next summer.

“This year the lighting scheme will be much better than it has been in the past three or four years. It is not yet the event we want but it's a starting block, the first rung on the ladder and we want to push it further,” said Mr Cutler.

Other fundraising ideas being discussed include the return of the popular Country Day at the racecourse, a fun day and even a beach party in the town centre.

“All the money from the concert will go back into the town and some of the proceeds will be ploughed back into the lighting fund,” said Mr Cutler.

“We need to put Fakenham back where it should be. There is an apathy about Fakenham which shouldn't exist. We have a great little town that is unique and, yes, we have empty shops, but not as many as Cromer, Swaffham or Sheringham.

If the Chamber can start leading the way and raising the spirits and morale of the place because the spin-off for the town is that tourism gets better, the apathy disappears and we can get on doing more business.

Fakenham mayor Jayne Cubitt is fully supportive of the efforts of FAP and the Chamber and says she wishes them every success in their endeavours.

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