Lumiere will once again light up Wearside’s night skies next year.
It’s been announced that the UK’s largest light festival will return to Durham City for a fifth time next year.
This morning Durham County Council’s Cabinet agreed to recommission Artichoke to deliver another spectacular Lumiere in November 2017, with members endorsing a commissioning fee of £600,000.
This contribution to the event will unlock a further £500,000 pledged by Arts Council England, with Artichoke raising the balance through grants, donations and sponsorship.
The event, which attracts around 200,000 to see the striking artworks, could plough around £10million into the economy. It’s taken place every two years in Durham since 2009.
The council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, coun Neil Foster, said: “It has never been more important to embrace opportunities that deliver well demonstrated economic benefits and a lasting legacy.
“Lumiere now has a proven track record for both and our partnership with Artichoke goes from strength to strength.”
Adam Deathe, business engagement manager at Durham BID, said: “I am delighted to hear that Durham County Council has recommissioned Artichoke to bring back Lumiere to Durham City in 2017. The spectacular event really puts Durham on the map, promoting the city, not just to a regional audience, but nationally and internationally.
“Events like this are a great way to introduce people to Durham and once they’ve been and experienced all the city has to offer with such a stunning backdrop, they’re inspired to visit time and again. Lumiere 2017 will no doubt add to the existing legacy of previous shows, encouraging repeat visitors and therefore boosting the local economy.”
Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke, said: “I’m thrilled that Lumiere has been recommissioned by Durham County Council for 2017. Lumiere was born in Durham in 2009 and, although we’ve produced the event in other places, Durham always feels like coming home.
“The support we’ve received from the council from the start has been remarkable – steady and unflinching -- and we’re incredibly grateful also to Arts Council England for their ongoing support for Lumiere. With each festival new partnerships have been forged with local businesses and organisations who understand and benefit from Lumiere’s growing value and impact.
“Artists, both local and international, look forward to seeing their work against the incredible architectural backdrop that Durham offers. We’re looking forward to building on all these partnerships over the next eighteen months, and to creating successful new relationships to enable us to deliver another world-class festival for the city.”
Past attractions at Lumiere have included a colossal whale in the Wear, the history of the universe projected onto the iconic Cathedral and a mysterious fog below the Castle.