SOMETHING positive has belatedly come out of serious power cuts in Alresford in the summer.

Scottish and Southern Energy Networks (SSE) has donated £500 to the town's Christmas tree fund as a way of apology.

Back in July a series of power cuts left the town centre which was temporarily off-grid for planned meaning the busy West Street and Broad Street shops and homes were being powered by large generators.

But one of the rigs failed just after 9am on a Saturday morning and wasn't back online until early afternoon. A similar power cut had taken place a few days earlier costing many businesses valuable trading time.

Local MP Steve Brine criticised SSE for a "totally unacceptable debacle".

At the time he said: "Saturday morning is a key trading period for the shops and they cannot afford to lose that income. I have spoken with a number of businesses who said they had received no notice from SSE that the works were even taking place so we clearly need to look into this.”

SSE did eventually confirm to Mr Brine that the Alresford generator ran out of fuel was due to a ‘miscalculation’ over the correct amount of fuel required.

The company was keen to apologise to those businesses affected while confirming it has since revised its calculation methods to factor in additional fuel when re-fuelling.

Mr Brine added: “The apology was very welcome but, after a little encouragement, they offered to also make a donation of £500 to the town as a goodwill gesture via local charity which is really kind.

"I contacted the Alresford Pigs and we agreed the donation would be made to their 2017 Christmas Tree fund which plays such an important part in ensuring Alresford remains an attractive and vibrant destination during the key festive period. Many Alresford shops have challenges at this time and I know they need a good Christmas this year more than ever.”

Oliver Barnes, from the Pigs, said: “We are thrilled with this generous gesture from SSE and it’s very fitting we can use these funds to help light up Alresford’s Christmas.”

Ray Hunter, SSE’s regional network construction manager, added: “Our customers and their communities are at the heart of everything we do, and we are delighted to be helping Alresford Pigs with this year’s Christmas tree.”