Christmas Lights in Birkdale Village in Southport. Photo by Angus Matheson of Wainwright & Matheson Photography

Kind-hearted volunteers and two very generous local firms have come together to make Birkdale Village sparkle this Christmas. 

Birkdale Civic Society has worked closely with lighting experts Ivandale and Illumidex UK Ltd, which have both made substantial donations to ensure that stunning new decorative lighting can be provided and installed. 

Local photographer Angus Matheson, owner of Wainwright & Matheson Photography, captured these eye-catching  images to show Birkdale at its best. 

Birkdale is a traditional Victorian village in Southport which is famous for its beautiful buildings and its collection of local independent businesses, with shoppers able to call into a greengrocer’s, butcher’s, fishmonger’s, cheese shop, gift shops, restaurants, fish and chip shops, cafes and more. 

Charlotte Bigland from Birkdale Civic Society said: “Around eight years ago Sefton Council and local traders installed some tree lights in the village. However over the last couple of years they were failing considerably and barely came on anymore.

“As a Society we wanted to try and replace the existing lights that were installed to try and bring back some of the festive spirit and take that to an all year round offering especially now we have more of a hospitality presence in the village. 

“Thanks to lighting donations from local businesses, Ivandale and Illumidex, it started to look like we could make our plans happen this year. This is something we would not have been able to do without them, as the costs of replacing the lighting was considerable if we needed to fundraise and purchase them all ourselves.”

Ivandale is a firm which creates exquisite seasonal lighting. 

They have been busy this year and are excited about their plans for 2021 when they are looking to provide the most customisable, longest lasting, environmentally friendly festive lighting in the world. All of the lighting used will be designed, assembled, tested and packaged in the UK. 

The firm was delighted to help the Civic Society appeal in its bid to brighten up Birkdale. 

Ivandale Director Tom Madden said: “I live quite close to Birkdale. I love the Village, and eat out far too much there!
“It is a lovely village, it really is a unique place. 

“I have seen for a few years that the tree lighting needed some work. I came across Birkdale Civic Society and spoke with Charlotte Bigland, who was trying hard to reinvigorate the lighting. 

“I went to a meeting at S&B (Southport & Birkdale Sports Club) and put my hand up and asked if I could get involved.”

Christmas Lights in Birkdale Village in Southport. Photo by Angus Matheson of Wainwright & Matheson Photography

Christmas Lights in Birkdale Village in Southport. Photo by Angus Matheson of Wainwright & Matheson Photography

Ivandale has subsequently provided festoon lighting between trees in Birkdale Village, with 400 individual large bulbs. 

The firm hopes to be able to extend the lighting further across the Village next year if further funding can be secured.

Illumidex UK Ltd has also been involved in the project, providing and installing lighting. 

The Southport-based firm is enjoying a busy year, providing festive lights in locations including Formby Village. 

Illumidex has embarked on a substantial project to replace two miles of decorative lighting along each side of the Lord Street boulevard in Southport town centre. 

Owners Steve and Jan Clayton have also provided Christmas decorations in Southport town centre and at Ocean Plaza in Southport. 

Steve said: “We love working in Southport and have such great passion in all the work that we do. When we decorate our town, we are decorating our home. We want to light up the town for everyone to come and admire, bringing families, tourists and visitors back to enjoy everything that Southport and Birkdale have to offer.”

Charlotte Bigland hopes local residents and businesses have been impressed with the new lighting in Birkdale Village. 

She hopes they will be able to contribute to extending the lighting further into the Village in time for Christmas 2021.

She said: “Through donations Birkdale Civic Society has been able to pay for the installation of all the lights and are continuing to fundraise via our JustGiving page in order to try and get the lighting extended throughout the whole village, is the Weld Road side of the level crossing.

“In order to do the shoreside however we need to install a large amount of infrastructure, mainly electricity poles, which come in at around £2,000 each.

“Once these have been installed we will be able to extend the beautiful festoons and tree lighting to the rest of the village, something we hope to have done by Christmas 2021!”

If anyone would like to donate, please visit: 

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/birkdalecivicsociety?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20201120_

Charlotte Bigland said: “We are fully committed to bringing a real sense of community to our area, and our volunteers and local businesses really make this possible.

“We are very fortunate to have a beautiful village with outstanding independent businesses, an excellent hospitality offering and residents who really care about their local area.

“For almost 40 years the Birkdale Civic Society has tried to upkeep and promote not just the Village but the wider Birkdale area and it is an absolute joy to finally see the area sparkling again after such a tough year for everyone.”

Do you have any stories for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com 

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