Lumiere leaves lasting light legacy

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ONE of the Lumiere light festival’s most popular displays could become a permanent fixture in Durham city centre.

Lumiere installation Helvetictoc could be seen in Durham for some time to come, with a planning application being discussed by Artichoke, which produced the festival.

Durham County Council is involved in the talks after buying the artwork for £10,000 using a community fund grant from Durham-based Banks Group.The council hopes to see it back in Millennium Place next year.

Tobie Langel’s tribute to an iconic typeface and a nation of clock-makers was a hit with the public at both the 2011 and 2013 festivals.

Durham Council leader Councillor Simon Henig said: “Helvetictoc has entertained the crowds as part of the world-class Lumiere light festival twice now, and I hope it will become a timely reminder of the latest event earlier this month.

“It is charming in its simplicity and practical in its message. It would be a really fitting addition to Millennium Place.”

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director for the Banks Group, said: “As a local business, we are delighted to be able support this new amenity for the Durham community that provides a quirky public timepiece as well as a lasting reminder of the success of the Lumiere festivals which have become such a popular attraction in Durham City.”

The planning application for Helvetictoc to become a permanent fixture will remain open for comment until December 23, and a decision will be announced next year.