A DECISION on whether to stage a third Lumiere light festival in the North-East could be only months away, it emerged last night.

Click here to view picture from this year's Lumiere light festival

More than 140,000 people are thought to have visited the event in Durham City over four nights from Thursday to Sunday, making it the country’s largest light festival.

Many people were wowed by spectacular artworks, including the stunning Crown of Light, the man-made Splash waterfall and the huge I Love Durham snowdome.

However, others were critical of how the event was managed, having spent long periods of time waiting to get to Durham Cathedral.

Ken Holroyd, a Durham county councillor, said he was sure he would not be alone in giving Lumiere a miss if it returned.

In contrast to 2009 when, after 75,000 people visited Durham’s first Lumiere, Durham County Council – which commissioned the festival – quickly announced its return in 2011, but, this time, council leader Simon Henig has said he could not repeat such a commitment.

Amid the current squeeze on public spending, much more private sponsorship would be required, he said.

“No decision has yet been taken about 2013. With the doubling of visitor numbers since 2009, we need to consider all the issues raised over recent days,” Coun Henig said.

This year’s event has cost about £1m to stage, collected from public and private sources.

Nicky Webb, from producers Artichoke, said Lumiere had been run very successfully, was completely safe and most people had a great time.

However, she added: “Durham is a great city and there’s a big appetite for something like this. But maybe people would rather life continued as normal.

“We subsidise the event quite substantially and we have to consider whether Durham doesn’t want it.”

A major evaluation has begun, with the results expected early next year.

Lumiere 2009 was said to have boosted the local economy by £1.5m. Afterwards, it was suggested the festival would return in 2011 and 2013 – when it was hoped Durham would be celebrating its year as the first UK City of Culture.

Durham missed out on the title and the county council is facing cuts of £125m by 2015.