Bid to project images on to Tower front

Aerial photographs of Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium, Blackpool Tower and North and Central Piers
Aerial photographs of Blackpool's Bloomfield Road stadium, Blackpool Tower and North and Central Piers
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Blackpool Tower could become the backdrop for a high-tech visual show as part of this year’s Illuminations.

Tourism chiefs hope to secure funding for the display, which would see images projected on to the front of the Grade-I listed building.

Visitors to the Illuminations would view the images from The Tower Festival Headland opposite.

The idea is part of proposals to encourage people to get out of their cars and spend more money in local shops and businesses when they visit for the annual spectacular.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and leisure on Blackpool Council, said: “We are always looking for new ways to improve the Illuminations, and in particular to encourage people out of their cars.

“This is something we believe to be an exciting concept, but we are in the very early stages of development.

“We are planning to submit applications for external funding, but before they are considered we would have to prove the planning permission is in place.”

A planning application has been formally lodged seeking listed building consent for the scheme.

Shirley Hunt, of the Friends of the Illuminations group, said: “I think this is a good idea, especially if it means people get out of their cars more when they visit the Lights.

“We are trying all the time to keep reinventing the Illuminations and come up with fresh ideas, and this seems very forward-thinking.”

A projection unit would be based on the headland, from which the images would be projected at certain times of the evening.

A design brief accompanying the planning application says: “The show will feature amazing (bespoke) new images thrown on to The Tower.”

It adds the show “is viewed on foot from effectively the Comedy Carpet area of the Prom, looking east towards The Tower frontage”.

Last year saw the culmination of a two-year scheme to replace 10,000 pygmy bulbs along The Tower’s legs with LED lights, which create a colour-changing visual spectacle.