In towns and cities all over Britain the Christmas lights are being packed away – and many of them are heading for a big green warehouse on the edge of Wellington. The Festive Lighting Company provides the annual street glamour for Glasgow, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Exeter and dozens of smaller communities.
Director and one of the joint owners of the business, Andy Hill, says that a really big display may cost a council in the region of £100,000 “but they won’t do that every year. Another option on that scale is renting the lights,” said Andy, a former bank manager who came into this unique trade almost by accident.
“Affordability comes into it but Christmas lights are very much a choice thing for councils,” he added.
Christmas may be over but the next few months are one of the busiest periods for the warehouse staff. Scores of huge displays, strings of LED lights mounted on aluminium frames, come back from hire and have to be cleaned and maintained before being stored for next year.
The business employs fourteen staff in total, including an in-house designer and four salespeople spread across the UK. It’s successful and growing business – but don’t drop by hoping for a spare bulb for your tree lights. “We don’t deal with the public at all – even if they want to spend £3k lighting the front of their house,” joked Andy.