Cartoon fun set to Light up the town

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GET ready for SpongeBob SquarePants and his pals to light up the Promenade.

For the Nickelodeon characters are set to help celebrate the centenary of the Illuminations as part of a £75,000 new feature.

The new Nickleodeon-themed Illuminations were unveiled today at the depot.'Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach Amanda Thompson and Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure Cllr. Graham Cain flick the switch, assisted by SpongeBob and Dora. PIC BY ROB LOCK'23-7-2012

The new Nickleodeon-themed Illuminations were unveiled today at the depot.'Managing Director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach Amanda Thompson and Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure Cllr. Graham Cain flick the switch, assisted by SpongeBob and Dora. PIC BY ROB LOCK'23-7-2012

The council has funded the manufacturing cost of the display from its £2m annual Illuminations budget.

But Nickelodeon has allowed the bosses to use the image rights at no cost and the features will hang above the Promenade outside the Pleasure Beach.

Pleasure Beach managing director Amanda Thompson said: “The council wanted to have some new Illuminations which reflected the changes happening in Blackpool. Nickelodeon was over the moon and really thrilled about being involved especially as this year is the centenary of the lights. It is a big American brand which will be part of the Illuminations.”

The display will include 12 Illuminations featuring SpongeBob, Dora the Explorer, Squidward, Boots, Patrick and Mr Crabs, all characters from the hit TV channel which launched Nickelodeon Land at the Pleasure Beach in May last year.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and culture on Blackpool Council, added: “Part of the investment in the Illuminations for the centenary is £75,000 in making Nickelodeon come to life outside the Pleasure Beach. The Pleasure Beach has brokered the deal and it is an absolute credit to everyone.

“Nickelodeon characters are recognised all over the world so there is no doubt they will be a hugely popular feature.”

Artists have been working on the features since May at the council’s Lightworks base in South Shore.

Sarah Barton, one of the artists, said: “Because the characters are so well known we have had to get them as accurate as possible and mix the colours to Nickelodeon standards.

“I’m sure they will be really popular on the Promenade.”

Nickelodeon’s Tina McCann added: “Being part of one of the UK’s most iconic cultural events during such an important year is simply brilliant.”