ORGANISERS of Lumiere have appealed for help in finding the last £350,000 needed to fund this year’s light festival.

The overall budget for the four-night spectacular, planned for Durham City from November 12 to 15, is expected to be around £1.8m.

Durham County Council has already pledged £500,000, alongside £100,000 of in-kind support and the Arts Council has also committed £500,000.

Tonight, supporters held an event to celebrate Lumiere’s return for a fourth festival at Teikyo University of Japan, in Durham, where Allan Cook, managing director of Arlington Real Estate and chair of the Lumiere development board, appealed for sponsorship, donations and in-kind support.

Around £350,000 still had to be found, he said.

“It’s a tall order. We’ve still got quite a challenge to raise the additional money. But I like a big challenge,” he added.

Durham County Council leader Simon Henig said despite the cuts facing the authority, there was never any hesitation it would once again put resources into Lumiere.

“This is important to us. It’s a key driver of the economy. It puts us on the map. And it puts smiles on people’s faces,” he said.

Lumiere 2013 attracted 175,000 visitors and boosted the local economy by an estimated £5.8m.

This year’s festival could be even bigger. The attractions will be announced later this year.

Helen Marriage, artistic director of Lumiere producers Artichoke, said Durham was the best place she had ever worked and launched Brilliant, a competition for local people to win a Lumiere art commission.

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