A TOWN'S annual Christmas lights switch-on event was saved by a large donation from a hospitality group.

Back in September, the organising committee for Coniston Christmas Lights announced that it would not be holding the Christmas party switch on this year 'due to the rising costs and the uncertainty of the next few months.'

It was even unclear if this year would go ahead at all, with the organisers stating 'we hope to still have the lights up.' 

However, the operator of The Coniston Inn agreed to cover 2022's outgoings when it heard that the party was off, which is particularly popular with the town's youngsters. Newcastle-based The Inn Collection Group owns many of the boutique pubs and hotels in the Lake District. 

The Coniston Inn will also put up a display of illuminated reindeer within the wooded area of its grounds for this year. 

With The Inn Collection Group sorting the costs for this year, the committee is already looking ahead to 2023. Money has already come in from The Rawdon Smith Trust, Coniston 14, The Coniston Amenities Fund, and other local donors for next year's Christmas lights.

The Inn Collection Group spokesperson Andrew Robson said: “When we saw that the traditional Christmas party was off and that the organisers ‘hoped’ to have the lights up, we knew we had to get involved and lend our support. 

“After speaking with the committee and learning what would be needed for this year, we were thrilled that we would be able to donate enough to cover those costs so donations received from other supporters could be placed towards next year. 

“We make a big effort in our Inns to embrace the festive period and we’re delighted to have been able to extend that further into the village.”  

The Westmorland Gazette: The Coniston InnThe Coniston Inn (Image: The Inn Collection Group)

Katie Dawson, from Coniston Christmas Lights Committee said: "Agreeing to cover this year’s costs is a brilliant gesture.

“It is a small team that organises the lights and we are totally reliant on our community to add a bit of festive magic Coniston. What The Inn Collection Group has done is pretty much save Christmas and it allows the support we already have go towards making next year better than ever."