A CAMPAIGN has been launched to improve the look of Hadleigh which residents say has been “neglected”.

The Hadleigh Community Group, which is a committee for residents and businesses of the town who work to improve its appearance, has been going from strength to strength after it was first set up last year.

The group has already been successful in raising funds for 12 sets of Christmas street lights and want to build on this success for 2018.

As well as wanting to have more Christmas lights, the group is looking to purchase 25 sets of wraparound street lamp flower baskets to be placed across Hadleigh town centre from May til September.

The group argues that they want to show that Hadleigh is not just an island surrounded by the A13 dual carriageway and a thoroughfare linking Southend to London, but a great place for the local community to visit and live.

In its appeal for donations, the group says that Hadleigh has “suffered from a lack of investment in recent years”.

The group has been working with the Salvation Army Hadleigh Farm Training Centre team and started a new crowdfunding campaign to raise the funds to purchase the baskets and create maintenance jobs for disadvantaged young adults with learning difficulties.

Karen Knox, who runs the group, said: “We hope that by the end of April we will have raised sufficient funds from the local businesses and residents of Hadleigh along with a grant application, but we need everyone’s help, after all it will benefit the whole community.”

As well as fundraising £3,328 to cover the cost, the members also need to apply for permission to the council and ensure that the lampposts can take the additional weight of the flower baskets.

So far, they have raised more than £140 and are holding events as well as donations to raise the rest of the money.

It is holding a gardening themed fete at the Old Fire Station on April 15.

There will be a number of stalls and activities, including representatives from South Essex Bee Keepers Association, Organic Gardeners and Essex Wildlife.

The Hadleigh Community Group will be applying for full charitable status later this year, this will enable access to funding from the larger high street chains stores, currently unavailable to unregistered charitable organisations.

Once that happens it intends to apply to extend its Christmas street lamp lights displays.

To donate, visit spacehive.com/hadleighessex, or you can put money into the collection jars at Revelation Art, Meat and Two Veg, Heartfelt Balloons, Castle Locks, AMOS Estate Agents and Woodfield Newsagents.