Green light for Lumiere return, as Arts Council pledges £1.2m

Darlington and Stockton Times: Solar Equation, Lumiere 2013 Solar Equation, Lumiere 2013

MORE than £1m in Arts Council funding has been promised to bring a spectacular light festival back to the North-East twice over the next three years.

Lumiere 2013 attracted 175,000 people to the streets of Durham City over four nights last November and was worth at least £5m to the economy, but afterwards it was unclear whether the event would return.

Durham County Council cabinet member Neil Foster said the authority would stage something spectacular every two years but Lumiere’s future was dependent on funding.

However, the Arts Council has now pledged £1.245m to help stage the event in 2015 and 2017.

Although its announcement is no guarantee Lumiere will return, the council is expected to make its own commitment soon, paving the way for producers Artichoke to start seeking other funding and planning the programme.

Jane Tarr, the Arts Council’s director north, said Lumiere was the country’s leading light festival, artistically ambitious and attracted huge numbers of visitors.

“Lumiere has a really strong track record in attracting exciting international artists.

“It’s fantastic work creatively and 175,000 people came to see it last time from all parts of the country and all walks of life.”

Council leader Simon Henig added: “This is a huge vote of confidence in Lumiere, which has a proven track record in bringing very significant economic benefits to our county and the North-East.

“I would like to thank Arts Council England.”

The Arts Council funding represents a major step up for Lumiere.

Last year, the festival’s budget was round £1.4m, of which the council contributed £400,000 and the Arts Council £385,000.

Lumiere 2011, which attracted 150,000 visitors over four nights, cost around £1.5m, including £420,000 from the council and £150,000 from the Arts Council.

The 2011 event was criticised for overcrowding, but last year’s went much smoother, as organisers ticketed Durham’s peninsula at peak times.

Ms Tarr said the Arts Council’s early commitment for next year’s event would allow more time for planning, in terms of the programme and logistics.

Lumiere was first staged in Durham in 2009. Last year’s event was adapted to become the finale of Londonderry’s year as UK City of Culture 2013.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:25pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Longbowman666 says...

Oh good - so they block off major parts of the city again, shift taxi ranks to difficult to reach places when you have festive shopping and blockade folks near the cathedral into their homes as they did before.

How exciting...
Oh good - so they block off major parts of the city again, shift taxi ranks to difficult to reach places when you have festive shopping and blockade folks near the cathedral into their homes as they did before. How exciting... Longbowman666
  • Score: -6

11:02pm Thu 3 Jul 14

Bryher says...

Brilliant news - Lumiere is great :) Come on Longbowman666, it's only a few nights...
Brilliant news - Lumiere is great :) Come on Longbowman666, it's only a few nights... Bryher
  • Score: 5

12:33am Fri 4 Jul 14

Nicholas_Till says...

I do wonder how they count or calculate the Lumiere visitor figures. A total of 175,000 for the 2013 Lumiere evens out at 43,750 per night. I believe that is about the same size as the entire population of Durham City, suburbs included. I don't say it's self-evidently incorrect, but it does seem a bit on the high side.
I do wonder how they count or calculate the Lumiere visitor figures. A total of 175,000 for the 2013 Lumiere evens out at 43,750 per night. I believe that is about the same size as the entire population of Durham City, suburbs included. I don't say it's self-evidently incorrect, but it does seem a bit on the high side. Nicholas_Till
  • Score: 1

3:18pm Fri 4 Jul 14

Longbowman666 says...

Bryher wrote:
Brilliant news - Lumiere is great :) Come on Longbowman666, it's only a few nights...
Don't get me wrong - Lumiere is an excellent idea and very enjoyable - its just that the organising of the event needs to be looked at a lot more, and with a lot more even-handedness for those folks who live in the city. Blocking off streets entirely such as North Road, where there is a busy bus station and taxi rank for example, when there was only one artwork which was confined to the pavement area, does not feel acceptable.
[quote][p][bold]Bryher[/bold] wrote: Brilliant news - Lumiere is great :) Come on Longbowman666, it's only a few nights...[/p][/quote]Don't get me wrong - Lumiere is an excellent idea and very enjoyable - its just that the organising of the event needs to be looked at a lot more, and with a lot more even-handedness for those folks who live in the city. Blocking off streets entirely such as North Road, where there is a busy bus station and taxi rank for example, when there was only one artwork which was confined to the pavement area, does not feel acceptable. Longbowman666
  • Score: 2
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree