Brighton's Christmas lights powered by independent shoppers

Alesha Dixon with dance troupe Killabeez from Brighton (Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire)
Alesha Dixon with dance troupe Killabeez from Brighton (Photograph: Matt Alexander/PA Wire)

When shoppers walk Meeting House Lane, their footsteps will make the Christmas lights shine.

Brighton and Hove Albion players and celebrity Alesha Dixon, took to The Lanes to help promote the small, independent shops in the run up to Small Business Saturday (December 5).

Albions stars promote the campaign

Albions stars promote the campaign

Highlighting the impact consumers can have by pounding the pavements of their local high streets and shopping small this festive season, American Express has installed a power-generating pavement along Meeting House Lane, one of the country’s oldest bustling independent high streets.

A UK first - when shoppers walk down the pavement their footsteps will make the Christmas lights shine and sparkle in the evening.

The unique power-generating pavement tiles, invented by tech start-up Pavegen, harness the kinetic energy of footsteps and convert it into renewable energy. For one week, the footsteps of an estimated 41,000 shoppers will light up 400 Christmas lights along the street.

Seagulls stars Tomer Hemed, Beram Kayal, Dale Stephens, and Bobby Zamora made a public appearance on Meeting House Lane on Tuesday afternoon to launch the innovative project, and greeted fans, as well as meeting local small business owners.

Bobby Zamora, Brighton and Hove Albion striker, said: “We are pleased to be invited by American Express to come along today. We want to remind people all over the country to shop small and support their local high streets.”

Shoppers will be able to use their footsteps to generate power to light the Christmas lights in Meeting House Lane until Sunday, December 6.