Festive spirit to spread thanks to fundraisers

CHRISTMAS spirit is set to spread through one often overlooked area thanks to the efforts of fundraisers.

Now they are awaiting permission from Tameside Council to make sure they can add further illuminations.While the authority places much of its efforts in and around the Ryecroft Hall area of Audenshaw, the area around the Memorial Gardens is often in the shadows.

But fed up locals decided enough was enough and opted to raise money to make sure more lights can be put on the tree that is put up and the surrounding area is decorated.

Now after donations from businesses and a bit of luck in finding the power supply is already in place, the tree will have extra decorations.

Danny Mather, the man behind the online appeal that started the movement, is set to approach Tameside Council with a view to adding more decorations and illuminations around the area on Audenshaw Road.

“In previous years, we’ve had some decorations but the tree has got bigger and bigger,” he said.

“And the illuminations aren’t used any more, so a few of us in the area got together and set up a Just Giving page to raise money for more decorations.

“Since then, though, we’ve found out that United Utilities did a lot of work relating to the reservoirs and had to dig up a lot of the gardens but when they restored the area, they actually put in a power supply.

“Fortunately, it’s still live and can be used, meaning more lights can be added and one of the local businesses has been generous in donating.

“Now we can make sure the tree is lit up better and we’re now looking at adding some illuminations to the lampposts as the power supply is already there.

“It’s just a case of paying for the upfront costs of the lights now. It’s a great thing for the community to get something around it.

“Audenshaw has an official Christmas lights switch-on at Ryecroft Hall but Audenshaw is split into two or even three – particularly because of the motorway.

“And I feel this area has been neglected somewhat. Everything goes to Ryecroft Hall but the Memorial Gardens is a lovely area.

“And it’s been great that people in the area have come together and done something to get something done.”

Danny, who lives on Barn Grove, is ready to go to Tameside Council to discuss the prospect of putting illuminations on the lampposts.

He also believes a switch-on will take place in late November, if they get the go ahead.

He added: “We’ve just got to finalise everything and make sure everything is in place. Getting the go ahead for the illuminations is the biggest hurdle to get over at the moment.

“It may seem like a little thing but it can give a big boost to a community.”

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