TEN years on from its inception, and it is easy to take Durham’s Lumiere light festival for granted.

The festival, which has its formal opening this evening and runs until Sunday night, features 37 artworks spread across the city.

To mark the tenth anniversary, this year’s Lumiere is being touted as the most ambitious yet, with popular artworks from previous festivals, such as the whale in the River Wear, returning alongside new commissions by international and North-East artists that will include a snow dome in the Market Place and a giant slinky tumbling from the roof of the Gala Theatre.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend the night-time light shows, contributing hundreds of thousands of pounds to Durham’s economy.

We have been passionate supporters of Lumiere throughout the last decade, and are proud to see the event now firmly established as a permanent fixture in the North-East’s cultural and artistic calendar.

Despite the effects of austerity, which have had a major impact on local government’s ability to fund cultural projects and initiatives, the North-East arts scene continues to flourish.

From Kynren, the open-air spectacular in Bishop Auckland that has deservedly earned national acclaim, to the refurbished Hippodrome, which has proved so popular in Darlington, we boast cultural highlights and venues we should be proud of. Lumiere deserves a prominent place on that list.