ORGANISERS have been overwhelmed with the support from local businesses who have come forward to help keep the lights burning this Hogmanay.

Last week, the Peeblesshire News reported that organisers feared this year’s Peebles Hogmanay Torchlight Procession was “unlikely to go ahead”, due to a lack of funding and staffing.

In a dramatic turnaround, event director Neil Dalgleish has confirmed that the event will go ahead after all: “We’ve always known Peebles is a special place and it’s been amazing to see the community rally round – even though the procession has only been going for two years, it has evidently found its place in people’s hearts.”

He added: “When word got out that the Torchlight Procession might not happen this year, we were approached by Sarah Clare from Holland and Sherry, who as well as offering us sponsorship, contacted other local companies and encouraged them to support the event too.

“We are all massively grateful to her and her team, and to all the companies who have pledged to support the event. We have also been contacted by people from around the UK who had booked hotels in Peebles specifically for the Torchlight Procession – they will be glad to hear the good news.

“We would like to thank all the companies who have played their part, including the Mercure Barony Hotel, Blackwood and Smith, Brown Brothers, the Cringletie Hotel, David Duthie, David Mitchell decorators, Evolution Packaging Solutions, Graham McGrath, Harrisons Ford, Peebles Hydro, Peebles Rovers, Peebles Pipe Band, Sainsbury’s Peebles, So Stobo, Stardust Musical Theatre, Tait and Mapp, Thomson Gray, the Tontine Hotel, Renwick and Weir, the Park Hotel, Tower Communications and of course Holland and Sherry who got it all going to save the event. We’re looking forward to a fantastic evening.”

Last year, the Torchlight Procession attracted around 1,700 people to join in and hundreds more watched the fiery parade proceed along the high street and by the river.

Neil added: “We’re expecting a big turn-out again. We think we can cover costs now, but we still need a lot of help from volunteers, so if anyone can help, please get in touch.”

Vouchers, which can be exchanged on the night for torches, will be available to buy online from today (Friday, November 24) at, from the Super Store at the Bridgegate and at the Christmas Lights Switch-On on December 7.

Torches are £11, and are for no more than three people per torch. Torchbearers must be over eight years-old, but glow sticks will be available for younger children. This year, any proceeds from the event will support ME charities.

To volunteer, contact, or call 01721 588050.