Festival funds light the way

Durham Cathedral lights up

Durham Cathedral lights up

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A SPECTACULAR cultural celebration will have international links after securing a major cash boost.

Artichoke, the arts organisation behind Durham’s Lumiere festival, has been told its bid for funding from the European Union has been successful.

The fund of £172,420 will cover a collaboration between the event and similar shows to be staged in Poland and Estonia.

Artichoke says the funding, together with a substantial grant awarded by Arts Council England, demonstrates the power of cultural events and how they can attract inward investment and build economies.

The first Lumiere in 2009 brought in 75,000 visitors to Durham and generated £1.5million.

Organisers say it is thanks to that success the funding for this year’s event, to be held from November 17 to 20, has been granted.

Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council, added: “This announcement is very good news for Durham and the wider area.

“The European funding is likely to have far-reaching beneficial consequences, generating wider national and international interest, as well as attracting visitors to the region and creating local employment opportunities and economic benefits.”

Two companies Northumbrian Water, and Thorn Lighting have been announced as sponsors of Lumiere.

They will offer financial help as well as support, with other businesses also being invited to get involved.

Joanne Martin, of Thorn Lighting, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase some of the new technologies that we are pioneering at Thorn, and look forward to helping to make Lumiere 2011 an even greater success.”

John Mowbray, of Northumbrian Water, added: “Following on from the huge success of last year’s festival, we are delighted to be involved with Lumiere and hope other businesses will join us in making it the biggest cultural event in the region this year.”

Fifty-eight submissions have also been made to Brilliant, a scheme being run to involve local artists and creative groups.

w, with the applications now being considered.