With Christmas not yet past, event organisers for the Blackburn BID (Business Improvement District) have announced a planning date for next year’s activities and they want traders to have their say.
A feedback ‘pop in’ has been arranged to take place on Monday 11 January when levy payers are invited to bring their ideas for building on the success of the traditional annual lights switch on and lantern parade.
This year the BID worked with the town centre team at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to stage two events with additional sponsorship from Blackburn Market and The Mall. Alesha Dixon led a cavalcade of stars for the switch on event outside the town hall including Carl Fogarty, Ted Robbins, CBeebies Clangers, Coronation Street, X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent competitors.
With additional BID cash pumped into the lantern parade and firework display, organisers were able to deliver additional workshops to create more lanterns and to book more professional artists who provided not one but two samba bands of illuminated musicians, giant luminous jelly fish, fire performances and stilt walkers.
The Festival of Light events finished with a stunning light display projected outside and within Holy Trinity Church with a concert by Blackburn Peoples’ Choir. Events were promoted with 50 copies of a town centre visitor events guide which was produced and distributed by the BID.
BID Manager, Harriet Roberts explained, ‘The events were really spectacular this year, but the town has been doing the same thing in the same way for many years. We want to find out what would help traders. We want to ask whether we need to change the dates and timings of the activities to attract more families, how we can use the new Cathedral Square and most importantly how we can be distinct and different from other towns and cities.’
She added, ‘Although the weather was fine for the lantern parade, the heavy rain we have experienced for the last few months dampened the number of people attending the events.’
All levy paying businesses are invited to have their say at the consultation event where they can drop in to leave their comments and meet other town centre traders and organisations between 10am – 2pm on Monday 11th January at the Mall Training Room.