Lumiere returns for its third year

One of the displays from recent years.

One of the displays from recent years.

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THE streets of Durham will once again be set aglow when Lumiere returns to the city for the third time.

After two spectacularly successful festivals in 2009 and 2011, Durham County Council has recommissioned creative company Artichoke to produce another celebration of light.

The event will take place in Durham city centre over four nights from Thursday, November 14, to Sunday, November 17, 2013.

Artichoke, which has gained a reputation for its ground-breaking productions, attracted 150,000 visitors when it staged the four-night extravaganza last year.

The streets were transformed by artworks including an illuminated waterfall over the River Wear, a giant snowdome encasing the Lord Londonderry statue, and a fire garden at Durham Cathedral.

Nicky Webb, co-director of Artichoke, said: “Durham is a wonderfully interesting city with architecture and topography lending itself to an innovative and exciting festival like this.

“The festival has the potential to temporarily transform the city and give residents and visitors a unifying experience they will remember forever.”

It is estimated the last Lumiere generated £4.3million for the county’s economy at a cost of just £400,000 to the council.

Despite some problems with crowd congestion last year, the council voted to recommission Artichoke to stage Lumiere again and the company is confident that lessons have been learned from previous years.

Simon Henig, council leader, said: “It should be another spectacular event and once again we are expecting thousands of visitors. People can start putting the dates in their diaries now so they don’t miss out.”

The next festival’s programme will be announced next year and will feature a mix of artist commissions, local and community initiatives from across County Durham, who will help prepare work and take part in the displays.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho