Businesses give Â£100k to boost Blackpool Illuminations
Blackpool Illuminations will see a Â£100,000 sponsorship boost this year as more businesses aim to see their names in lights.
It means the annual display which brings in four million visitors each autumn can invest in additional features for 2017.
Genting Casino, Best Western hotels and McDonalds are among national brands represented, while home-grown businesses including Bonny Street Market and the Elgin Hotel have also ploughed money in.
It follows a sustained drive by Blackpool Council to attract more commercial contributions to help financially support the Illuminations which are worth about £275m a year to the town’s economy.
Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, ambassador and designer for the Illuminations, said: “We have been working so hard to develop the kind of deep relationship the Illuminations should always have had with Blackpool businesses.
“We are now beginning to see that pay dividends which means we can put Blackpool business money back into Blackpool Illuminations, not just for maintenance but to add sparkle.
“The Lightworks depot is able to respond to commissions from businesses and to have it done on this scale is amazing.
“And next year we will have the opportunity to offer even more in terms of branding and commercial input.
“It is going to be a really exciting 2017.
“After a period of uncertainty, we can see things rolling forward in a very positive way.”
The council spends £2m each year to put on the Illuminations, but has repeatedly called on more businesses to financially support the display which extends the holiday season by two months.
Head of Illuminations Richard Ryan said: “The total sponsorship figure from businesses is more than £100,000 this year, which is up 20 to 30 per cent compared to a few years ago.
“It means we can build new high quality products for the Illuminations and keep the displays fresh which is vital.
“Blackpool businesses are now embracing the Illuminations, but we always need more to come on board.”
Coun Gillian Campbell, deputy leader of Blackpool Council, said: “We’ve got an incredible display lined up this year and I’d like to thank our sponsors for their continued support in the attraction.
“With the addition of the LightPool projections and the [email protected] to look forward to, it’s never been a better time to come and visit, with so much on offer to our visitors.”
This year’s new attractions were unveiled to hoteliers at a launch event held at the Lightworks Depot on Blackpool Business Park.
This year will also see a free festival of entertainment during October half-term including a parade of Blackpool’s illuminated trams.
The LightPool programme returns for a third successive year with three 3D mapping projection shows every evening and the LightPool Village on the Comedy Carpet open both day and night with live music.
Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, said: “I think this year’s Illuminations are going to be better than ever, and it is great to see local businesses are supporting the display.
“They are putting their money where their mouth is and realising we have to do this.”
The lights will be switched on with a celebration party on the Promenade on September 1 and run until November 5.