Hotels call to back our Illuminations

Lights call: Clarie Smith and Mick Grewcock have called on more busniesses to donate to the Illuminations
Lights call: Clarie Smith and Mick Grewcock have called on more busniesses to donate to the Illuminations
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Leading hoteliers in Blackpool have called on all the resort’s hotels to do more to support the resort’s illuminations.

Speaking after a meeting of business leaders at Blackpool North Golf Club, they warned that donations to the Friends of the Illuminations, which supports the famed light show, are well down on previous years.

They said that the support helped to maintain and update the Illuminations and warned that without it hotels would lose out on a huge amount of extra business at the end of the summer season.

Claire Smith, from hoteliers group Stay Blackpool, said: “The donations from the private sector are down this year. How can that be after the summer season we have all just enjoyed?

“Everyone benefits from the Illuminations, they bring in so much extra business, that we all need to get behind them to make them as good as possible.”

Mick Grewcock, who runs the Burbage Holiday Group in Blackpool, said some of the big hotel groups were not pulling their weight.

“They all benefit from the increased income the Illuminations generate so why should they not contribute, just like all the smaller hotel and bed and breakfasts do, towards the upkeep?” he said.

“Just because their headquarters are in London or somewhere down south they seem to think they don’t need to contribute. We pay £3,500 and Andy Pilley from BES Utilities, who is based in Fleetwood, has paid to provide the electricity for the lights.

“We have to get behind them. Otherwise why not switch them off for the 10 weeks and see what effect that has on the business of all those who won’t contribute.”

One national business which has helped is the new look Harry Ramsden’s restaurant on the Promenade, which has donated £1,000.

Chris Walter, head of operations for Harry Ramsden’s, said: “The Blackpool Illuminations are an iconic and historic piece of British culture enjoyed each year by locals as well as millions of visitors.

“The team at Blackpool 
Illuminations work tirelessly on behalf of local businesses, including ourselves, to ensure the town continues to attract tourists each year.

“We are therefore delighted to be able to play our part in giving something back and pledging our support to Blackpool in this way.”

Although out of season, businesses are still being urged to show their support for the display by contributing financially.

Other key backers include, Beaverbrooks, eviivo, KRS, Graham and Brown and McDonalds.