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  • "Change the record you lot.

    The benefits to the local economy far outweigh any expense to "taxpayers", and as you thickos still seem unable to grasp, there's a difference between spending one off pots of money of events or local improvements like new roads etc, and ongoing costs like staff wages and running costs. Care homes are an ongoing cost, and as such can't be afforded. It's not the council that makes up the rules on what pots of money can be spent on what.

    And even if they could keep elderly persons homes open, who are you to speak for everyone? I might prefer my leisure centre to remain open or my local library. We all demand different services at different times. I don't envy the balancing the act the council has to do to please everyone (or not please anyone).

    Anyway.

    I can't wait to see it return. Hope they approve it. Brings in loads of visitors, businesses rake in money over the weekend, leads to improved tourism, better jobs, etc.

    Get over yourselves. You don't speak for the majority of people. Look at the survey results. As usual, a vocal gobby minority try to spoil things for the majority.

    "the council got a 1,358 per cent return on its £400,000 investment". Great. £5 million back into the local economy coffers for a modest investment. Hardly a waste is it!

    "90 per cent wanted Lumiere to return; and 95 per cent said they would attend again." Fantastic. Proves most folk don't share your views then. Go and moan about something else."
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Council urged to pledge £500k for Lumiere return

Council urged to pledge £500k for Lumiere return

Solar Equation at Lumiere 2013 (7991251)

The Consumerist Christmas Tree at Lumiere 2013 (7991253)

Elephantastic at Lumiere 2013 (7991259)

Elephantastic at Lumiere 2013 (7991261)

First published in News

COUNCILLORS are being asked to pledge more than £500,000 of taxpayers’ money to ensure a spectacular light festival returns to the North-East next year.

Last week, the Arts Council announced £1.245m to help stage Lumiere in Durham City in 2015 and 2017.

Now Durham County Council chiefs want to offer a further £500,000 towards the November 2015 event, plus £100,000 of in-kind assistance.

A report due to go before the authority’s cabinet next week (Wednesday, July 16) says Lumiere is of ‘considerable’ importance to the economy, there is ‘clear public demand’ for its return and an estimated £1.7m budget, up from £1.4m for 2013, is ‘achievable’.

An independent evaluation of last year’s event, which attracted 175,000 visitors over four nights, found it: boosted the economy by £5.8m (up from £4.3m for 2011’s event); resulted in more than 20,000 overnight stays; generated publicity worth £3.16m (up from £2.25m in 2011); and the council got a 1,358 per cent return on its £400,000 investment (up from 983 per cent for 2011).

Of the 714 people who took part in a visitor survey, four in five said their experience was good or very good and the art was good; 88 per cent said the atmosphere was good or very good; 90 per cent wanted Lumiere to return; and 95 per cent said they would attend again.

Of the predicted budget of £1.7m, the council and the Arts Council would each give £500,000, and the remaining £700,000 would have to come from other organisations and sponsors.

Council leader Simon Henig said: “Lumiere has put us firmly on the world map and has become our signature event.

“By continuing to work very closely with (Lumiere producers) Artichoke I have every confidence a 2015 event would deliver the sort of benefits we have seen grow so dramatically since the first festival in 2009.

“I would like to encourage organisations throughout our area to help us deliver this fantastic event.”

Cabinet will be asked to approve re-commissioning Artichoke to stage Lumiere in 2015 and pledge £500,000 plus £100,000 of in-kind assistance when it meets at County Hall on Wednesday, July 16.

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