Council urged to pledge £500k for Lumiere return

Darlington and Stockton Times: Solar Equation at Lumiere 2013 (7991251) Solar Equation at Lumiere 2013 (7991251)

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.

Comments (8)

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9:20am Wed 9 Jul 14

greenfinger says...

waste of money
waste of money greenfinger
  • Score: -11

11:49am Wed 9 Jul 14

Longbowman666 says...

At a time when DCC are having to close care homes due to lack of money, then for them to spend such a sum on a 4 day light show seems rather obscene, no matter how much people might enjoy it etc. I'm sure that the poor old folks who were resident in those homes would have preferred to be able to stay in them rather than having the worry of not doing so and being able to see some fancy art and lights.
At a time when DCC are having to close care homes due to lack of money, then for them to spend such a sum on a 4 day light show seems rather obscene, no matter how much people might enjoy it etc. I'm sure that the poor old folks who were resident in those homes would have preferred to be able to stay in them rather than having the worry of not doing so and being able to see some fancy art and lights. Longbowman666
  • Score: -3

2:47pm Wed 9 Jul 14

pilchrat says...

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.
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. pilchrat
  • Score: 7

4:59pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Longbowman666 says...

pilchrat wrote:
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.
Interesting - I take it that you have seen improvements to the City following the increased revenue from Lumiere? That the local businesses are doing better than ever and new, lively shops are opening up to serve the needs of the public? That the investment is being used to fund improvements to services?

Ah, but what would a 'thicko' like me know about such things? For your information, the 'signature event' as it is referred to is hardly even known outside of the county, and as I travel far and wide in the course of my profession (note I said profession, not job, but then a 'thicko' like me wouldn't ever be a part of a profession, now would I?) I engage in conversation with lots of people, the vast majority of whom haven't ever heard of it.

And not to put too fine a point on it - 714 people out of the amount of visitors is a tiny fraction. hardly representative of public opinion overall, or indeed that of the County population. DCC put out the 'County News' every few months, interesting that in this publication (that is posted to all homes in the DCC admin area) public opinion on this matter has never been asked, a poll never taken, even when they were asked what they would like to see the Council's budget spent on.

Events such as Lumiere are indeed one-offs, but ergo so are the benefits, and as such the local economy might get a bit of a lift on those days or just thereafter, but in the longer term they do little to encourage inward investment.
[quote][p][bold]pilchrat[/bold] wrote: 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.[/p][/quote]Interesting - I take it that you have seen improvements to the City following the increased revenue from Lumiere? That the local businesses are doing better than ever and new, lively shops are opening up to serve the needs of the public? That the investment is being used to fund improvements to services? Ah, but what would a 'thicko' like me know about such things? For your information, the 'signature event' as it is referred to is hardly even known outside of the county, and as I travel far and wide in the course of my profession (note I said profession, not job, but then a 'thicko' like me wouldn't ever be a part of a profession, now would I?) I engage in conversation with lots of people, the vast majority of whom haven't ever heard of it. And not to put too fine a point on it - 714 people out of the amount of visitors is a tiny fraction. hardly representative of public opinion overall, or indeed that of the County population. DCC put out the 'County News' every few months, interesting that in this publication (that is posted to all homes in the DCC admin area) public opinion on this matter has never been asked, a poll never taken, even when they were asked what they would like to see the Council's budget spent on. Events such as Lumiere are indeed one-offs, but ergo so are the benefits, and as such the local economy might get a bit of a lift on those days or just thereafter, but in the longer term they do little to encourage inward investment. Longbowman666
  • Score: -4

5:50pm Wed 9 Jul 14

pilchrat says...

Why don't you speak to the businesses and ask them rather than assuming I have all the answers? Seems the company the council asked to count up the benefits did and it was a resounding success.

Not everything the council does is to improve its own services; it's rather nice that they put money into things that simply benefit the area and broadly boost the economy.

I can't speak for your "profession", you could be a "professional" thicko I don't know. Professions are many.

And so 90% and 95% of 714 people isn't indicative at all is it. You can scale up from that figure; what figure would you be happy with? Go on, give me a clue ... 5,000? Should we hold an election on the matter? Get a grip. A sample of 50 I'd agree with you. But even that would give a rough feel for popularity of the event, or not.

County Durham News ... ahhhh, again, how little you "get" local government. So you'd rather the council published all its statutory stuff in the Echo et al, market its events and services in the Echo et al, and tell you about changes to service in the Echo et al, at greater cost? So whilst they charge thousands and thousands to facilitate this information sharing, clearly the taxpayer can save a few quid. Not. Gee you're bright. Do people really think the council is stupid enough not to use the most cost effective way to get information out? Clearly you do. But during unprecedented local government cuts of circa 40% off the main budget, do you not think they might have removed the residents magazine if it would save money? Take away the local council rag as it were, as Pickles would prefer, and continue to use taxpayers money to prop up local newspapers. That's all that will happen.

I come back to my point that for £400k investment, £5m was reaped by the area. So how is that a bad thing?

Using your logic, the council can never again spend anything on anything unless it's keeping care homes open. I jest on the investments but "New £1m road". HOW DARE THEY!! KEEP CARE HOMES OPEN!! "£500k investment on a new gritter fleet". WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THE MONEY!!! "Lumiere" THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE SKINT!!

So again I come back to my point that ultimately, what you are happy for the council to spend money on is different to what I'm happy for them to spend the money on. But don't presume you speak for the populous of County Durham. You don't.

In an ideal world I'm sure the council would have loved to have kept care homes open. But without using the "thicko" standard schoolboy playground response of "Sack the chief executive", "Cut out some managers", or the really thicko comment "Cut councillors allowances", all of which would not equal 40% of the councils required savings, how would you propose that the council kept them open? Go on, enlighten me. It's too easy to heckle from the sidelines.
Why don't you speak to the businesses and ask them rather than assuming I have all the answers? Seems the company the council asked to count up the benefits did and it was a resounding success. Not everything the council does is to improve its own services; it's rather nice that they put money into things that simply benefit the area and broadly boost the economy. I can't speak for your "profession", you could be a "professional" thicko I don't know. Professions are many. And so 90% and 95% of 714 people isn't indicative at all is it. You can scale up from that figure; what figure would you be happy with? Go on, give me a clue ... 5,000? Should we hold an election on the matter? Get a grip. A sample of 50 I'd agree with you. But even that would give a rough feel for popularity of the event, or not. County Durham News ... ahhhh, again, how little you "get" local government. So you'd rather the council published all its statutory stuff in the Echo et al, market its events and services in the Echo et al, and tell you about changes to service in the Echo et al, at greater cost? So whilst they charge thousands and thousands to facilitate this information sharing, clearly the taxpayer can save a few quid. Not. Gee you're bright. Do people really think the council is stupid enough not to use the most cost effective way to get information out? Clearly you do. But during unprecedented local government cuts of circa 40% off the main budget, do you not think they might have removed the residents magazine if it would save money? Take away the local council rag as it were, as Pickles would prefer, and continue to use taxpayers money to prop up local newspapers. That's all that will happen. I come back to my point that for £400k investment, £5m was reaped by the area. So how is that a bad thing? Using your logic, the council can never again spend anything on anything unless it's keeping care homes open. I jest on the investments but "New £1m road". HOW DARE THEY!! KEEP CARE HOMES OPEN!! "£500k investment on a new gritter fleet". WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THE MONEY!!! "Lumiere" THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE SKINT!! So again I come back to my point that ultimately, what you are happy for the council to spend money on is different to what I'm happy for them to spend the money on. But don't presume you speak for the populous of County Durham. You don't. In an ideal world I'm sure the council would have loved to have kept care homes open. But without using the "thicko" standard schoolboy playground response of "Sack the chief executive", "Cut out some managers", or the really thicko comment "Cut councillors allowances", all of which would not equal 40% of the councils required savings, how would you propose that the council kept them open? Go on, enlighten me. It's too easy to heckle from the sidelines. pilchrat
  • Score: 5

9:34pm Wed 9 Jul 14

Longbowman666 says...

If I am proved to be wrong, then I will have the good grace to say so, but for the time being I am as entitled to my opinion as you are. I do not claim to represent all of County Durham, nor have I done so in any of my posts above.

I will however say this. That in all of the posts that I have done in this forum (or indeed anywhere else) I have never called anyone by any name that could be considered demeaning. To do so is the mark of the ignorant and of the bully, of which I am neither. Ultimately to use the word 'thicko' and the kind of demeaning sarcasm that you have done says more about you than you may care to admit.

You may perhaps turn out to be right, as might I, but at least this 'thicko' will keep his integrity. I very much doubt, by your own demeanour, that you will ever do the same.
If I am proved to be wrong, then I will have the good grace to say so, but for the time being I am as entitled to my opinion as you are. I do not claim to represent all of County Durham, nor have I done so in any of my posts above. I will however say this. That in all of the posts that I have done in this forum (or indeed anywhere else) I have never called anyone by any name that could be considered demeaning. To do so is the mark of the ignorant and of the bully, of which I am neither. Ultimately to use the word 'thicko' and the kind of demeaning sarcasm that you have done says more about you than you may care to admit. You may perhaps turn out to be right, as might I, but at least this 'thicko' will keep his integrity. I very much doubt, by your own demeanour, that you will ever do the same. Longbowman666
  • Score: -5

12:25am Fri 11 Jul 14

hippyjohn says...

if it benefits local shop keepers so much let them pay for it
if it benefits local shop keepers so much let them pay for it hippyjohn
  • Score: -4

4:54pm Sat 12 Jul 14

pilchrat says...

I don't usually get sucked into debates like this; but I'm fed up of people who don't know what they're talking about making broad based comments and throwaway claims that are easy to fling in from the sidelines but are actually difficult to justify or explain.

I think you'll find my integrity is just fine. As you said, you have your view, I have mine. We'll perhaps leave it there.
I don't usually get sucked into debates like this; but I'm fed up of people who don't know what they're talking about making broad based comments and throwaway claims that are easy to fling in from the sidelines but are actually difficult to justify or explain. I think you'll find my integrity is just fine. As you said, you have your view, I have mine. We'll perhaps leave it there. pilchrat
  • Score: 1
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