Christmas Lights for Farnborough


Rushmoor Borough Council

Rushmoor Borough Council launched
Farnborough Frost Fair in 2016, a footfall
boosting Christmas event, launching
the festive season in the town and
part of the Countdown to Christmas
events programme in the town centre.
Returning in 2017, it’s been a fantastic
success, boosting footfall each year,
increasing dwell time in the town
centre and sharing Christmas joy with
local residents and businesses. The
Council’s Town Centre team work very
closely with partners, including officers,
Members, retailers and a passionate
group of community volunteers to
make a small budget go a very long
way. Visitors to the Fair can enjoy lovely
handmade food and drink and pick
up some unique Christmas gifts from
nearly 50 craft and community stalls.
There’s live music from local schools,
donkeys, circus skills workshops, street
performers, children’s rides, panto
characters, giant walkabout Santa and
free family hands-on Christmas craft

The only drawback is… while the two
indoor shopping centres have impressive
lights, Farnborough’s pedestrianised
town centre doesn’t have any Christmas
lights – or even a tree!
That’s set to change this year thanks
to Farnborough’s 2nd Place finish in
the annual Blachere Christmas Lights
Competition, which means we have
£2,000 of prize funding to spend on
lights that will bring our Christmas
Celebration launch to life on Saturday
24th November.

Sparkling static Christmas Lights, with
motifs and uplighters will bring festive
magic to people using the outdoor
space of the town centre. In the absence
Christmas Lights for Farnborough
of a Christmas tree, we particularly
want a ‘focal point’ for events, a light
installation / sculpture that traditional
carol singers and other groups could
use during the season. This is a great
opportunity to create something special
for several weeks that will truly make
an impact, add vibrancy and boost
community pride.

We plan a ‘Countdown to Christmas’
weekend programme of family events
on the run-up to the 25th including a
themed Christmas Trail, panto character
meet and greet, brass bands, carols and
free children’s crafts – all celebrating the
spirit of the season. We will work with
stakeholder community groups, schools,
volunteers and local businesses to
coordinate the programme, building on
previous years.

Town centre lights are a key part of
helping to give a town that fantastic
festive feel and we would like to nurture
that feel-good factor in Farnborough
over the festive period. Festive lights
are proven to enhance surroundings
and increase traders’ footfall, as well as
helping to galvanise the community.Christmas Lights for Farnborough
At present, we don’t have many events that encourage this community spirit and that give people the chance to celebrate their town centre. The local Civic Society, Rotary Club and residents
are very active locally and are keen
to support new initiatives – it will be
great to give them more opportunities to get involved.

Rushmoor’s towns of Farnborough and Aldershot have
so much to be proud of – home of
the British Army and birthplace of
the Royal Air Force, home also to
globally renowned companies like
British Aerospace and the Farnborough
International Air Show, and a richly
diverse community boosted by its links
to the Gurkhas of Nepal.

The potential benefits from having
Christmas Lights this year are numerous.
Twinkling lights will…
• Make our visitors, workers and
shoppers smile and help to create a
warm festive atmosphere
• Encourage community groups,
performers and other groups to
utilise the space within the town
centre. The entertainment and
activities will bring much-needed
• Boost a fun programme of events
that volunteers will want to be
a part of. This will help to build
our small team of volunteers who
are proud to support their local
• Encourage new users to the town
centre to see the new lights,
particularly the outdoor shopping
• Encourage people of all ages to
interact with their town centre as
a ‘destination’, not just a shopping
• Bring the 3 main Farnborough
landlords together on a joint
project, with potential to build the
partnership in 2019
• Highlight the town centre to local
businesses and attract commercial
sponsorship and support going
forward, especially as Rushmoor
commits to an ambitious
regeneration strategy

So, the boost from being involved in the
Blachere Christmas Lights competition
could be a real catalyst for bringing
vibrancy back into Farnborough Town

Read more about Revive & Thrive Blachere Christmas Lights Competition 

Jenny Atherton & Tony McGovern