Much-loved shooting star light display returning to South Tyneside for Christmas 2022 as part of festive decoration investment

A much-loved festive lighting display is returning to South Tyneside for Christmas 2022 as part of improvements to decorations across the borough.

The shooting star display, which formed an arch of light on a busy route in South Tyneside, was installed in the 2000s and became a popular sign the festive season had landed each year.

But the installation, at the Mill Lane roundabout, has not featured for a number of years, after council chiefs reported a number of Christmas lights had suffered from wear and tear and budget constraints meant they could not be replaced.

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The shooting star installation is set to make a return for 2022.

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    However, South Tyneside Council has confirmed the shooting star will return for 2022 as part of extra spending on Christmas lights.

    Councillor Joan Atkinson, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy said a series of new festive lighting displays, including more lights in trees, were installed across the borough in 2021, and more were coming this year.

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    “More areas of the borough will also sparkle this year through further investment in our festive lighting displays to help spread festive cheer throughout our communities,” she said.

    It comes after years of scaling back amid budget concerns, with even South Shields Town Hall losing one of its iconic Christmas trees, and national debate around festive lighting during the energy crisis.

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    There will be new Christmas lights in South Tyneside this year.

    Cllr Atkinson said the further investment in festive lights and the return of Christmas events to South Tyneside was in keeping with the local authority’s key priority to support town centres, villages, high streets and hospitality.

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    She said the council and its private sector street lighting partner Balfour Beatty have already started the programme of testing, repairing and installing existing lights as well as putting up the new displays across South Tyneside in time for the festive season.

    This year, additional features will include a display on the Stanhope Road / Temple Park Road roundabout in South Shields.

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    As well as the return of the ‘shooting star’ display over Monkton Lane, there will also be ‘new motifs’ fitted to the lighting columns in the area, council chiefs said.