New home for Peterborough's old artificial 'Christmas tree'

Peterborough's much maligned old artificial Christmas has found a new home after the council gave an early Christmas present to a neighbouring town.

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 5:00 am

The controversial fake tree was put into storage last year after frequent criticism from residents, prompting the city council to splash out £6,200 on a new 40 foot Spruce tree.

The metal tree still had another year before reaching ‘the end of its life’ and the council was planning to sell it - but the sale fell through, and the tree was donated to Wisbech.

This week the tree was installed in the Fenland town's Market Square for the first time.

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The tree in Wisbech

The council spent £40,000 on the 10m artificial tree in 2015 - including the tree’s delivery, removal and storage - with the original intention that it would last until the end of 2020 before the decision was made to replace it a year early.

The council had defended the artificial tree when it came under initial criticism after being bought in 2015 and placed in Cathedral Square, with a spokesman saying: “Like all decorations, the city’s new Christmas tree will look at its best once it’s lit up at the switch-on event.”

However, this did not prevent the tree’s appearance every year becoming a hot topic.

When announced earlier this year, the tree's 'capture' was celebrated by councillors in Wisbech who bragged about their “ballsy negotiations,” while toasting it as a “major addition to the town’s Christmas display” for this year.

After deciding to ditch the fake tree, Peterborough City Council spent £6,200 on a 40 foot Spruce tree last year.

The Peterborough Christmas lights switch on will be a virtual event this year to enable social distancing to take place.

Residents will not be encouraged to attend Cathedral Square for the annual switch on this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Full details of this year’s event will be released by Peterborough City Council later in the year.