More and more businesses are coming on board to support Blackpool’s Illuminations.
An open evening organised by the Friends of the Illuminations attracted representatives from 33 organisations across the coast.
Attendees were given a tour of Lightworks, which is the Lights’ headquarters and manufacturing base on Blackpool Business Park, while around 450 collecting tins have now been distributed across the town.
There are also plans to increase merchandising opportunities in a bid to raise more cash to support the annual tourism-booster.
But volunteers are today still appealing for more of the resort’s bigger businesses to join the group.
Shirley Hunt, of the Friends of the Illuminations, said: “It was a successful evening and we saw a lot of new faces.
“Those who attended were mainly hoteliers, but we also had other businesses including a hairdressing salon.
“People now know who we are and understand more about what we are trying to achieve.
“Everyone was very excited about the tour and came back beaming after getting to see behind the scenes.
“The only thing we are trying to do is to get more of the bigger businesses on board and hopefully we will do that by holding more of these open events.”
Jayne Mills, who is also a member of the group, said: “One of our new ideas is to sell old-fashioned posters advertising the Illuminations.
“The posters will have a square, like a whiteboard, which is blank and which hoteliers can use for example to write on the Illuminations switch-on and switch-off times on.
“We’re also hoping to have some kind of stall or pop-up store in the Houndshill Centre during the Illuminations which can be used to sell merchandise.”
Anyone who is interested in joining the Friends of the Illuminations, or to find out more about the group, can contact them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Lights need to be supported by businesses
The Friends of the Illuminations was formed last year in order to boost business donations to the annual extravaganza.
Among the initiatives so far have been mini-switch-ons, whereby people who donate to the fund go into a draw to win the chance to star in their own switch-on ceremony.
Collecting tins have been distributed to hotels across the resort in order to encourage visitors to donate.
Designer Lawrence Llwellyn Bowen is among those who have given their backing to the Friends of the Illuminations.
Blackpool Council funds the Illuminations to the tune of £2m each year.
But businesses which benefit from the extended season the Lights bring, are encouraged to make their own donations.
Donations are also collected from visitors as they view the lights on the Promenade each autumn.