Lights plea for more branding

Blackpool's Illuminations
Blackpool's Illuminations
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BLACKPOOL’S world-famous Illuminations must become more commercialised in future.

That was the view of nearly all the respondents to a resort-wide survey.

An astonishing 98 per cent of respondents replied ‘yes’ when asked if sections of the Lights should be commercialised.

The survey was distributed by a working group headed by Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool. The group, made up of different businesses and residents, has been set up to look at ways of bringing more cash in for the Lights.

Now companies such as Sony and Apple could be approached as part of moves to find a big-name brand to sponsor the annual display.

Mrs Smith said: “There is so much happening in Blackpool with Merlin taking on the Tower and bringing in Madame Tussauds; the tramway, the Tower Festival Headland and Nickleodeon coming to the Pleasure Beach.

“There is never going to be as much happening again so if we are going to attract big sponsorship, now is the time. We wouldn’t want it to look like five miles of advertising though, so the council would still have to have some control.”

The survey also found 86 per cent of respondents wanted to see Illuminations on the headlands, 75 per cent agreed there should be some form of charge, and only 54 per cent were against the Illuminations being shortened.

The council is proposing to shorten the Illuminations this year, axing the stretch between Starr Gate and the Solaris, in order to help save £267,000 from the Illuminations budget.