Businesses along West Street in Fareham have come together to save their high street and, with the backing of The News and the borough council, they have started to arrange events for the festive period.
Now dubbed West Street Fareham Community Forum, traders from stores including The 157 Store, Mugshot Coffee Shop, CrumbleJackÂ and Heathen Chemistry Record are busy organising events for Sunday, November 25 which coincides with the council's light switch-on.
Shane Davies from The Crafty Makery is spearheading the initiative.
He said: '˜We want to give the community something that they can enjoy and get involved with in the town centre.Â
Emergency crews battling to save someone’s life on Southsea seafront
Southsea seafront incident: Police update after man found 'unresponsive'
Police update on probe into death of ‘Wiggy’ Symes after fatal dog attack in Fareham
Thunderstorms in Portsmouth yellow weather warning: The Met Office forecast for the next three days in city, Fareham, Gosport, Havant and Waterlooville and Hampshire
River Ems crisis: Westbourne villagers plead with Portsmouth Water to introduce a hosepipe ban
'˜I grew up in Fareham and I want to see all the businesses thrive again and the community to come together again.'
Shane has been busy getting schools and youth groups making lanterns for a parade down the high street.
He said: '˜The kits have all been funded by us and we are offering them to youngsters in the borough so they can decorate them and be a part of the day.'
Mandaleigh Dance School has been busy preparing a street pantomime performance and Dominos are also hoping to get involved with the event as well asÂ a number of the businesses down West Street will also be open for late night shopping on the Sunday until 8pm.
Shane said: '˜There has been such a lot of people wanting to be involved and that just shows people do want to be a part of their community but we need to keep the momentum going.'
Fareham Borough Council have allocated a leisure officer to the group to help them and answer their queries.
Shane said: '˜We are looking to create a Community Interest Group (CIG) early next year so we can carry on our work and get involved with more community projects.
'˜It also means we can attract funding to hold more events in the street which is something we plan on doing throughout the year.
'˜We would love for anyone who is interested in being a part of the CIG and helping our communityÂ to contact us.'
Any youth groups or schools who wish to take part in the lantern procession should contact Shane onÂ 01329 289110 or emailÂ [email protected]
Volunteers for the day and anyone wishing to have a street stall should also contact Shane.