A PHENOMENAL £12,328 was collected by Widnes Rotary Club’s Christmas float last year, setting a new all-time record.

Local charities and clubs are now invited to bid for a share of this cash to fund projects or buy new equipment.

Mike Aldridge, community chairman of Widnes Rotary Club’s vocational committee, said: “It was remarkable.

“To actually beat last year’s figure by nearly £1,000 is amazing.

“More children were on the streets with their parents. We feel a family Christmas had returned. It was great.

“We are trying to give something back to the community. We are chuffed to bits.

“We would like to thank all the community of Widnes who so generously donated to our collection.”

The float toured streets across the town for 10 nights and staged three static collections outside Asda, Tesco and in the town centre.

There was also a fixed Christmas gazebo in Tesco.

Local charities, clubs or societies wishing to bid for funds should write to Widnes Rotary Club, Mr M Aldridge, c/o Hillcrest Hotel, Cronton Lane, Widnes, Cheshire.