Durham County Council orders consultation over Lumiere return

The Northern Echo: I Love Durham by Jacques Rival I Love Durham by Jacques Rival

DOES the North-East want the Lumiere light festival to return in 2013?

That’s the question being asked of the region’s residents and businesses over the next three months, after council chiefs ordered a major review yesterday.

The second Lumiere festival attracted more than 150,000 people to Durham City over four nights last November.

It featured 35 installations, including massive images from the Lindisfarne Gospels being projected onto Durham Cathedral, a man-made Splash waterfall descending from Kingsgate Bridge and a giant snowdome over the Lord Londonderry statue.

Independent experts concluded that the event boosted the local economy by £4.3m – a return of nearly 1,000 per cent on the council’s initial £400,000 investment.

In a survey, about 82 per cent of visitors reported having an extremely positive experience.

“Yes, it cost us money to set the festival up. Surely that should be the role of a good council – to put money into events that more than pay back. There clearly was a major impact from it."

Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council

However, many complained elsewhere of bad crowd management and were angry at having to wait for long periods in Durham Market Place.

Afterwards, Helen Marriage, Lumiere’s programmer, said there was a “huge question” over whether Durham wanted it to return as planned.

However, the firm later issued a statement declaring the event a “glowing success”.

Miller Research Evaluation Consulting said there was a “growing groundswell of opinion that a further light festival should be commissioned for 2013”.

They recommended some areas could be ticketed, the installations spread across a wider area and turned on earlier and better maps and signs be produced.

Yesterday, Durham County Council’s cabinet ordered consultation to discover whether there is backing for a third festival.

Council leader Simon Henig said: “I would urge businesses – and everyone – to let us know their views and thoughts.

“Yes, it cost us money to set the festival up. Surely that should be the role of a good council – to put money into events that more than pay back. There clearly was a major impact from it.

“It’s very important for people to use the next few weeks, so we can make the right decision for Durham when we return to this item in July.”

On the crowd problems, Coun Henig said he was aware there were issues, but lessons would be learned.

Comments (11)

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5:23pm Thu 19 Apr 12

D D Coy says...

Firstly I am all for Lumiere but I am slightly confused?

The DCC said "this years event has cost around £1m to stage"

£400,000 or £1,000,000?

1. What was the total cost of Lumiere?

2. How much was raised from sponsorship from business?

3. What was the actual cost to DCC?

4. What is the estimated budget to host the next Lumiere in 2013?

Some clarity from DCC may go along way to making the event a success.

Finally does Lumiere actually have to be held every two years in Durham City, why not every three or four years?
Firstly I am all for Lumiere but I am slightly confused? The DCC said "this years event has cost around £1m to stage" £400,000 or £1,000,000? 1. What was the total cost of Lumiere? 2. How much was raised from sponsorship from business? 3. What was the actual cost to DCC? 4. What is the estimated budget to host the next Lumiere in 2013? Some clarity from DCC may go along way to making the event a success. Finally does Lumiere actually have to be held every two years in Durham City, why not every three or four years? D D Coy

6:14pm Thu 19 Apr 12

Nicholas_Till says...

It would be interesting to know how the 'independent experts' arrived at the figure of £4.3 million said to have been generated for the local economy by Lumiere, and how much of it went into which sectors, if this was investigated.
It would be interesting to know how the 'independent experts' arrived at the figure of £4.3 million said to have been generated for the local economy by Lumiere, and how much of it went into which sectors, if this was investigated. Nicholas_Till

6:19pm Thu 19 Apr 12

onedytoo says...

I would not be happy to see events ticketed, unless the price was very low and tickets just to control movement. It's an open event which all can equally enjoy at present. It was generally a good experience for me, but at the likely cost, maybe should be held less often - specially as one would hope for a greater presence of police and marshalls at future events.
I would not be happy to see events ticketed, unless the price was very low and tickets just to control movement. It's an open event which all can equally enjoy at present. It was generally a good experience for me, but at the likely cost, maybe should be held less often - specially as one would hope for a greater presence of police and marshalls at future events. onedytoo

6:31pm Thu 19 Apr 12

D D Coy says...

According to the BBC the total cost of the 2011 Lumiere Festival was £1.5m.

Thus I deduce that £1.1m was raised from sources other than DCC.

Perhaps DCC could liaise with an other Council in the region, perhaps Newcastle City Council to hold the event at alternate two year intervals.?

Lets hope that the future of Lumiere & possible alternatives are considered thoroughly and that any decision doesn't just become yet another rubber stamp job by DCC.
According to the BBC the total cost of the 2011 Lumiere Festival was £1.5m. Thus I deduce that £1.1m was raised from sources other than DCC. Perhaps DCC could liaise with an other Council in the region, perhaps Newcastle City Council to hold the event at alternate two year intervals.? Lets hope that the future of Lumiere & possible alternatives are considered thoroughly and that any decision doesn't just become yet another rubber stamp job by DCC. D D Coy

11:14pm Thu 19 Apr 12

spragger says...

Any other European City would be falling over itself to repeat such a successful event. But no we let the NE whingers have centre stage & get their knife into it.

Next time lets see if it can wipe its face economically
Any other European City would be falling over itself to repeat such a successful event. But no we let the NE whingers have centre stage & get their knife into it. Next time lets see if it can wipe its face economically spragger

7:59am Fri 20 Apr 12

Mr A says...

Clarification on how much this cost and exactly who footed the bill would make it easier to understand.
Tickets, Paying to see it? No chance it has to be free to encourage people to go to the attraction with money in their pockets to spend.
How much revenue it brought to Durham where were these figures pulled from? I’m sceptical as to how these were derived.
Policing and marshalling a disgrace so to improve would there be an added charge?
Clarification on how much this cost and exactly who footed the bill would make it easier to understand. Tickets, Paying to see it? No chance it has to be free to encourage people to go to the attraction with money in their pockets to spend. How much revenue it brought to Durham where were these figures pulled from? I’m sceptical as to how these were derived. Policing and marshalling a disgrace so to improve would there be an added charge? Mr A

12:15pm Fri 20 Apr 12

D D Coy says...

The problem is that the leader of DCC is good at, as are all politicians of banding figures/estimates around. But the problem with Simon Henig is that he forgets to quote the same set of figures each time & creates another set of figures each time, thus causing confusion and a lack of clarity!

It seems fair for DCC to plead poverty on one hand for certain DCC departments, schemes or events but they always seem to find the money each year to employ chauffeurs & a fleet of civic vehicles for them to drive.

Perhaps the local Labour Party can make an substantial donation to help make any future event wipe its face financially, basically Labour has to put its money where its mouth is or is it chauffeurs & limos at County Hall and no Lumiere?

Please contact Mr Simon Henig with your points of view on Lumiere he wants to hear them.
The problem is that the leader of DCC is good at, as are all politicians of banding figures/estimates around. But the problem with Simon Henig is that he forgets to quote the same set of figures each time & creates another set of figures each time, thus causing confusion and a lack of clarity! It seems fair for DCC to plead poverty on one hand for certain DCC departments, schemes or events but they always seem to find the money each year to employ chauffeurs & a fleet of civic vehicles for them to drive. Perhaps the local Labour Party can make an substantial donation to help make any future event wipe its face financially, basically Labour has to put its money where its mouth is or is it chauffeurs & limos at County Hall and no Lumiere? Please contact Mr Simon Henig with your points of view on Lumiere he wants to hear them. D D Coy

5:45pm Mon 23 Apr 12

loonyleft says...

As i said before if there is better crowd control, and better exhibits then i,m sure it can only do good for durham.
As i said before if there is better crowd control, and better exhibits then i,m sure it can only do good for durham. loonyleft

5:45pm Mon 23 Apr 12

loonyleft says...

As i said before if there is better crowd control, and better exhibits then i,m sure it can only do good for durham.
As i said before if there is better crowd control, and better exhibits then i,m sure it can only do good for durham. loonyleft

5:46pm Mon 23 Apr 12

loonyleft says...

As i said before if there is better crowd control, and better exhibits then i,m sure it can only do good for durham.
As i said before if there is better crowd control, and better exhibits then i,m sure it can only do good for durham. loonyleft

9:45pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Allendale says...

Go for it - minor problems from a dramatic & generally well staged event. It can only get better!
Go for it - minor problems from a dramatic & generally well staged event. It can only get better! Allendale

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