WROUGHTON schoolchildren switched on the village's Christmas lights which decorated a whopping 30ft-high tree partly paid for by Bellway Homes.

The housebuilder donated £500 to the parish council to fund the festive fun as it constructs new homes at Ridgeway Park.

Estate agent Richard James donated a similar sum towards the Norwegian spruce tree.

Four schoolchildren had the honour of switching on the lights in the village centre in front of a crowd of 150 people after winning a competition.

Wroughton Parish Council chairman John Hewer said: “After a tough time for everyone due to the pandemic, we thought it would be good to go that little bit further to make the Christmas lights extra special this year.

“We usually have a 25-foot Norwegian spruce but for this festive season, thanks to the very generous donations, we were able to pay for a larger 30-foot tree.

“It was lovely to see two pupils from Wroughton Infants School and two children from Wroughton Junior School sink the plunger to turn on the lights.

"The crowd really got into the festive spirit and counted the youngsters down from ten. It was all very exciting and we thank Bellway for giving the money that helped us try to make the smiles on everyone’s faces that bit wider in 2021.”

Bellway launched its 103-home Ridgeway Park development on the same day as the switch-on.

Bellway South West sales manager Christel Hawkins said: “It was an absolute pleasure to be able to support the local parish council in their desire to create an extra special Christmas this year after the disappointment and restrictions of the coronavirus lockdown.

“We were told that the joy on the faces of the children when the lights were turned on was something to behold. It has been wonderful to be able to play a small part in making this year’s decorations in the village of Wroughton that bit better for everyone.

“It was a happy coincidence that the day of the switch-on was the same day that we launched our new development at Ridgeway Park in the village. We are committed to delivering these much-needed new homes – 30 of which will be affordable homes available for local people through rent or shared ownership.

“We are confident Ridgeway Park will prove to be a positive addition to the wonderful village community."