IT HAS been dubbed the most festive street in Britain.

Every year thousands of people visit Byron Road in New Milton to view a dazzling Christmas lights display which turns the street into a blaze of colour.

Now it has been revealed the annual spectacle has raised £76,000 for charity since it was first staged 14 years ago.

The 2018 display netted £6,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust after fundraisers were inspired by the story of former Byron Road resident Ross Baker, who received a life-saving bone marrow transplant via the charity.

Ross, a 32-year-old engineer who now lives in Leeds, was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2016.

After four months of intensive but unsuccessful treatment he was referred to the Anthony Nolan Trust, which found a suitable donor in Germany. Ross had a transplant in 2017 and three months later learned his cancer was in remission.

He and his girlfriend are getting married on July 12 - two years to the day since he was given the all-clear.

Ross said: “I didn’t get a chance to see the 2018 Christmas lights in Byron Road but my dad was there when they presented the cheque.

“The lights are amazing - the whole street gets involved. It’s a great example of community spirit.”

The annual display, which includes giant inflatable snowmen and about 1,000 bulbs, is organised by Ged Hollyoake and his neighbours.

Every year they spend months creating a multi-coloured spectacular which extends along a row of houses and also includes some of the homes on the other side of the street.

Three years ago a TV crew visited the street and spent a day filming a Cadbury’s Christmas commercial.

The 2018 illuminations were switched on by Shaine Singer, star of the Channel 4 show The Undateables, who was following in the footsteps of other celebrities including former Saints boss Harry Redknapp.

But despite the event’s fundraising success not everyone is happy.

As reported in the Daily Echo, Bryon Road residents Adam and Sallyanne Gibson say they are fed up with the “chaos” caused by the lights, saying visitors in previous years had blocked their driveway, damaged their car and even sworn at them.

Mr Gibson, 52, said: “We used to put lights on our house but we stopped about two years ago as a point of principle.”