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New Morecambe festival of light will 'reinvent illuminations' in the town

Plans for a new festival of light on Morecambe seafront have been revealed.

Baylight '23 will include 12 illuminated interactive installations and experiences along Morecambe seafront.

The free light art trail will take place over three days during February half-term from February 16 to 18 and will be open, in the dark, from 6pm to 10pm.

The Baylight festival will stretch from the Sailing Club Jetty to the Midland Hotel and Stone Jetty.

Town centre pubs and restaurants will be open for the duration for warm drinks and snacks for visitors.

Organisers say that many of the exhibits reflect or symbolise the beauty of Morecambe Bay’s environment and, with a rising tide in the evenings, the installations will be reflected in the water.

Baylight '23 will be run by the Morecambe Sparkle CIC (Community Interest Company) which was set up to reimagine illuminations in Morecambe for the 21st century.

The company has eight directors - Anne Holloway from Edgelands Gallery in the West End of Morecambe, Rod Taylor from Morecambe FC and The Morecambe Hotel, Bina Gadani from Bare Pharmacy, Sian Johnson - a tourism consultant, Emma Wareing from West End Impact, Stephen Wright from Wright and Lord Solicitors, Jason Slater from Treasure Island amusements and Bay Business Hub, and Tabitha Sims from Lancaster Arts.

They will look to make Baylight an annual event from 2025 and say they will be running a continuous fundraising programme to build up the Sparkle programme for a long-term future.

Funding has come from Lancashire County Council which has awarded £425,000 towards Phase 2 of the project over two years from its £12.8m Economic Recovery and Growth Fund, with match funding from Morecambe Town Council and Morecambe BID (Business Improvement District).

Morecambe Sparkle CIC has also received pledges of more than £120,000 over four years, with £20,000 from Morecambe Town Council and £12,500 from Morecambe BID.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: "Morecambe Sparkle CIC's plans promise to bring a real boost to the town over what are usually quieter months for local businesses by reinventing winter illuminations in a way which is unique to Morecambe.

"Baylight 23 will be just the start of something which we hope will bring new visitors and investment along with opportunities for residents and businesses for decades to come.

"We established the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth fund to be able to give projects like this the boost they need to get off the ground and I can't wait to see how these installations look against the wonderful setting of Morecambe Bay."

Morecambe county councillor Charlie Edwards said: "This is reimagining the Morecambe Illuminations for the 21st century.

"This February half term, the town will come alive with exhibits that will catch the eye then capture your imagination. Professionally run, with internationally renowned artists, and free for everyone."

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