Lighting up lives!

Corrie Norris and her son Max flick the switch to light up the display.
Corrie Norris and her son Max flick the switch to light up the display.
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THESE lucky people are among the first winners of a competition to flick the famous Blackpool Illuminations switch.

The Friends of the Illuminations is holding weekly ceremonies as part of a bid to encourage people to donate to the Lights.

Residents and visitors are being urged to donate £1.50 by texting 80039, of which 87p goes to the Illuminations.

Each week the name of a winner is drawn out to flick the same switch used at the celebrity ceremony to light up the Promenade. Ceremonies are being held outside Hart’s Amusements in Bispham, with entertainment being laid on for the crowds.

Shirley Hunt, of The Cranstone Hotel on Alexandra Road, South Shore, who is a member of the Friends group, said: “We are continuing to promote the text service, and the mini switch-on events have gone very well. The Illuminations department is putting banners up on the cliffs at Bispham to further highlight the text service to people walking through the lights.

“We are also distributing postcards and posters to different businesses.

“On the whole we are getting a good reception and are getting donations from people who have not donated for years. We are trying to change perceptions because some don’t realise just how badly the Illuminations need funding.”

Around 2,000 posters and 52,000 postcards are being distributed.

The Friends of the Illuminations was formed a year ago following complaints about the quality of last year’s display.

Blackpool Council funds the annual attraction, which is celebrating its centenary this year, to the tune of £2m each year.