A MAYOR has urged businesses and residents to support this year's Christmas lights appeal.

Northallerton Town Council is putting £5,000 towards the scheme but Mayor David Blades said £14,000 is needed.

Last year's appeal for new lights raised almost £10,000 from 36 businesses and individuals.

Councillor Blades said: "The success of the scheme provided last year was evident by the magnificent response to our request for donations from all sectors of the community.

"The town council and the illuminations working group are very grateful for the support received. We all worked very hard to achieve our target and were delighted with the result.

"This year, several changes have been requested by ourselves and the contractors have guaranteed that there will be a significant improvement in the sequence of lights because they are to be alternated so that there are no longer clusters of one particular type. This will give the scheme more impact.

"We are once again appealing for donations to offset the cost and we would be grateful for support."

The lights are to be erected later this month.

Coun Blades said they would be officially switched on in late November.