LONDON’S ‘GREENEST’ CHRISTMAS LIGHTS BRING FESTIVE SPARKLE TO VILLIERS STREET
Today I visit Villiers Street and the Strand to see this year’s Christmas lights and decorations. The Savoy Theatre on The Strand became the first public building in the world permanently lit by electricity. Victoria Embankment which runs parallel to the Strand had the world’s first street lights. So an area of London renowned for lighting innovation.
The Strand’s first ever Christmas Lights were only in 2015. And a huge success to build upon. The lights run from the famous Trafalgar Square Christmas tree to the beautiful St Mary le Strand Church.
Once again this year the Christmas lights and decorations add an extra festive feel to the area. And with many Visitors and Londoners heading to festive events such as Skate at Somerset House or the theatre. These streets carry the most footfall of anywhere in London.
Villiers Street ‘GREENEST’ Christmas Lights
This year Villiers Street Christmas lights powered using old cooking oil. Oil from local businesses including Gordon’s Wine Bar and Champagne Charlies is powering the lights. So becoming the first biofuel powered Christmas Street lights in central London. Making these decorations the capital’s most environmentally friendly festive lights. The lights sponsored by The Northbank Business Improvement District and Price waterhouse Coopers. Price waterhouse Coopers global headquarters provide the power located on Villiers Street.
Decorated for Christmas
It is particularly fitting that the area will be sparkling with innovation and over one hundred thousand festive lights. The Northbank became the first area in London to get electric street lighting in 1878. Also The Savoy Theatre on the Strand became the first public building in the world lit entirely by electricity in 1891.
Fast forward more than 130 years and businesses in the area are innovating once again. The Price waterhouse Coopers building on Villiers Street is a particularly environmentally friendly building. A building with the capacity also to generate power from biofuel on site. And so now 50% of the building’s energy is powered by biofuel. The old cooking oil is collected from local businesses. Also businesses within the M25 area. And finally delivered to the PwC HQ where the oil is transformed into biofuel.
Highest pedestrian footfall in London
The sponsors wanted to make the lights an example of sustainability, not least as next to Oxford Street, Villiers Street has the highest pedestrian footfall in the whole of London. The lights on Villiers Street will remain in place for the winter season, even after the Strand lights come down on 6th January 2017.
Finally check out my visit to Gordons wine bar to see more of the area – Gordon wine bar Villiers Street Charing Cross