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Arts Council Funding for LightPool Festival

Thursday, 8th September 2016

Blackpool Council announces £48,000 funding from the Arts Council’s National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme for the town’s new LightPool Festival.

The grant will help fund the new LightPool Festival, a free light art festival from October 28 to November 2, celebrating Blackpool's unique relationship with light. Building on the successes of the LightPool shows on The Blackpool Tower, the town centre will be transformed with a number of spectacular light art works inspired by the buildings, history and people of the town.

Alison Clark, Director North, Arts Council England said, “We are very pleased to support LightPool through our National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme. This festival is a wonderful platform to showcase exciting and unusual work that will delight audiences. Light Festivals are growing in popularity in the UK and Europe, and it’s great to see Blackpool, with its wonderful illuminations history, as part of this growth.”

More than 20 art works from local, national and international artists will create a spectacular walking route to link together the town’s iconic buildings, businesses and landmarks such as Brilliance on Birley Street.

The LightPool Festival will also feature a program of live performances each night in St John’s Square. Visitors to the square will be wowed by light and fire displays from some of the world’s leading performance artists.

Confirmed acts include French Compagnie Bilbobasso to perform Polar: an explosive fable of fire and tango and the Worldbeaters return with their smash hit Spark! All the events will be free to attend and accessible for the whole family.

The festival will be the climax of a 2 year 2 million pound LightPool project funded by the Coastal Communities Fund and partners LeftCoast and Blackpool Council.

Blackpool has a long history of collaborating with light technologies. Light is synonymous with the town’s history and development since the first eight arc lamps that graced the promenade in 1879 to in excess of the 1,000,000 lamps that now feature in this year’s display.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council said: “I’m delighted by the announcement. This investment will create a whole new festival in resort that will boost business for those in the town centre.

“Millions of visits are made to the Lights every year but we are often told people want to see something new and different, this is it.

“The LightPool Festival will bring exciting new light shows to the town centre by internationally renowned artists.”

The Illuminations has a long history of commissioning artists and collaborating with cultural partners such as the Arts Service and the Grundy Art Gallery; a key partner on Blackpool's Arts Council England funded Arts Engagement programme.

This year visitors will be spoilt for choice with the return of the LightPool project. Three new projection shows have been designed specifically for LightPool this year.

The eye-catching 3D projection shows will be displayed on to the front of the Blackpool Tower buildings from the start of September. All three of the films, along with two popular shows from last year’s LightPool events, will be available to watch for free from the Comedy Carpet several times every night, with extra performances at weekends and over the October half term.

There is also a fantastic new exhibition at The Grundy Art Gallery – Neon: The Charged Line. This will bring together some of the most internationally renowned neon artworks from the 1960s to the present day.

There are spectacular new arrival points for Illuminations visitors at the north and south gateways to the resort. The LightPool Village is new for 2016 – the Tower Festival Headland will turn in to a destination where visitors can watch the new 3D projection mapping shows on the tower buildings in comfort. Official Illuminations souvenirs and merchandise, refreshments and much more will available from September 7.

For more details on this year’s LightPool, go to www.visitblackpool.com/lightpool

For more information on Blackpool Illuminations, visit www.visitblackpool.com/illuminations

Blackpool Illuminations light up from Friday 2 September to Sunday 6 November.

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