Lighting move sparks town hall savings

Blackpool Council is making savings on its street lights and traffic signals
Blackpool Council is making savings on its street lights and traffic signals
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A brighter way of financing Blackpool’s street lights is set to save residents millions of pounds.

Town hall chiefs have struck a new deal sparking annual savings of £157,000 a year - or £3m in total over 19 years.

The council and its service provider Community Lighting Partnership (CLP) have refinanced the street lighting and traffic signals private finance initiative (PFI) contract.

Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said: “This is fantastic news for Blackpool.

“The service residents will receive will remain the same but in conjunction with our service provider Community Lighting Partnership we have re-negotiated the contract at a much better rate.

“I’m sure many residents spend time researching different options when mortgaging their property and this is the same exercise just on a larger scale.

“During the tough financial times we are facing it is vitally important that we scrutinise every contract we have to ensure that we are getting the best possible deal.”

When the contract was signed in 2009, it was agreed it would cost £153m over 25 years.

The Department for Transport provided a PFI grant of £33.9m to contribute to the project which has seen 85 per cent of the town’s street lights and traffic signals replaced.

The total includes 16,253 street lights and 2,420 traffic signals. In addition, 480 new lights have been installed in adopted back alleys during the first five years of the project.

The contract will run until 2035.

More than 40 banks and financial institutions were contacted during the process before a new deal was struck with SMBC and Nord LB Banks.