See Durham Castle and Cathedral in a new light

New lighting at Durham Cathedral was offficially switched on  last night

New lighting at Durham Cathedral was offficially switched on last night

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A THREE-year project to light Durham’s cathedral and castle at night is complete.

The new outside lighting, designed for visual effect and energy efficiency, was switched on at a public ceremony in the cathedral.

Durham County Council funded and managed the work, which was done by Stainton Lighting of Thornaby, and A K Lighting of Bishop Auckland.

The companies were awarded the £600,000 project after they won a competition run by the Institute of Lighting Professionals.

Canon Rosalind Brown of the Durham World Heritage Site committee said: “The great thing about the new lighting is it picks out the architectural detailing of the two magnificent buildings, showing them at their best.

“At the same time, it is much more energy efficient than the previous floodlighting.

“We are grateful to Durham County Council for their technical and financial support, and to the companies involved for implementing the scheme so well in this sensitive location.”

The lights were last upgraded in the 1970s.

“These two buildings are the jewels in the crown of the Durham City skyline,” said Counciilor Bob Young, cabinet member for environment at the county council.

“This successful lighting project will allow both buildings to shine together.

“Our World Heritage Site is important not only to residents, but also to visitors from this country and around the world.

“It is only fitting we should want to show these beautiful building in the best possible light.”

The lights were switched on by council chairman Coun Linda Marshal.

Guests in the cathedral listened to a contemporary interpretation of a 17th instrumental work by Giovanni Gabrieli before going outside to admire the new lights.