FIVE young trainees from County Durham are getting the chance to play their part in the Lumiere festivities this week – all while earning vital work experience.

Before the event kicked off on Thursday, the five hopefuls were selected by real estate company and sponsor of the Lumiere, Avison Young, who offered them paid, hands-on experience, which they’ve embarked on since this year’s event started.

As part of the work experience, the trainees, from local colleges, secondary schools, and disadvantaged groups across the county, are being offered career development support, as well as assisting in the production and promotion of the Lumiere.

READ MORE Map: Installations at Lumiere in Durham - and where to find them

Barry Crichton, principal at Avison Young, said: “After the rollercoaster year we’ve had, Lumiere will help lift people’s spirits and what better way to do that than by supporting young people to gain new skills and experience.

“As the main corporate sponsor of the trainee scheme, our sponsorship will provide hands-on training for five young locals as well as CV writing and interview skills to help promote pathways into longer-term employment.

"It’s a great opportunity to support the communities we work in and hopefully encourage more young people into careers they may not have previously considered.”

Working in partnership with Durham County Council and produced by arts charity Artichoke, Lumiere is the UK’s leading light festival, which seeks to transform the way we view familiar buildings and public spaces through light installations. In 2019, the festival attracted an audience of 165,000 and produced a boost of £11.5m to the local economy.

READ MORE The must-see light art installations of Durham Lumiere 2021

This year, it’s expected to bring in more visitors than ever, through the 37 light exhibitions, which include pieces within the City of Durham and several others dotted across the county for the first time.

Gordon Hewling, regional managing director of Avison Young, said: “It is really important to Avison Young to give back to our communities and this sponsorship is part of a wider investment in local initiatives across the North East, which we are proud to support from the Newcastle office.

"Lumiere is a key event in the regional calendar and something that is enjoyed by our staff and clients alike."

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