Two businesses have funded three Christmas trees for a cash-strapped council.

Hastings Borough Council decided that it would not get trees for the town due to its increasing financial pressures. There is a risk that the council might go bankrupt by March.

But bus company Stagecoach and Hastings Old Town Traders have now offered to fund three trees to help keep the festive spirit alive.

The trees will be in Hastings town centre - in Kings Road, St Leonards, and Butlers Gap in George Street.

Cllr Ali Roark, lead for environment at Hastings Borough Council, said: “We are incredibly thankful to Stagecoach and the Old Town Traders for offering to fund these Christmas trees – this is a real testament to the season of giving and something that I am sure will bring joy to families this festive season.”


Dan Mayhew, Stagecoach operations manager at Hastings said: "As a family living locally, we've always looked forward to seeing the town's Christmas trees. When I heard the council would be unable to fund them this year, I thought that's something Stagecoach could help with.

"It's been a tough time lately with the impact of bus driver shortages on our services, so as a team we feel like this is something we can do to help the community and keep a wonderful tradition going at Christmas."

The council is facing soaring costs due to the number of homeless people being housed in temporary accommodation more than doubling in the space of a year.

It is having to use its dwindling reserve fund and is even considering selling four pieces of land to raise £3 million pounds to tackle its “homelessness problem”.

The Local Government Authority said that “unless urgent action” is taken, all of the council’s general fund reserve will be used by March next year.

The council had £4.8 million in its reserve as of March this year.

Its budget said it should have £2.3 million in the bank by March next year but officials are concerned that this does not take into account overspends, interest payments on borrowing and inflation.

It also relies on the plan to reduce the amount spent on homelessness by £1 million.