Great Yarmouth’s new lights show worth of the BID says tourism leader

Installation contractors Steve and Scott Cozens with David Marsh, centre

Installation contractors Steve and Scott Cozens with David Marsh, centre - Credit: Archant

The new lights along Great Yarmouth's Golden Mile have been hailed as a bright indicator of the benefits brought by the tourism focused business improvement district (BID) brought in earlier this year.

The borough wide business levy brings in an annual £500,000 pot to promote Yarmouth's £530 million-a-year tourism industry and funded a five year lighting contract, worth £112,287, won by Festive Lighting.

More than 40 brightly coloured 'sails' - made up of strings of LED rope lights - have been installed on lampposts along the famous seafront stretch, which light up in the evening.

About 2.7 miles of LED rope lighting, featuring 440 sets of lights and totalling 35,200 LEDs, has been used to fabricate the 84 sails each measuring 3.7m tall.

The lighting scheme is one of the first landmark projects to be completed by the BID which was bitterly opposed by some busineeses.

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David Marsh, the BID's interim chairman, said: 'The introduction of the BID means our resort has finally got the funds it needs to display and maintain nearly one and a half miles of seafront decorative lighting, a long-held, eagerly anticipated tradition in seaside resorts across the country.

'This modern lighting scheme ensures the Golden Mile remains a bright focal point for Yarmouth's many millions of seaside holidaymakers.'

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Kirsty Burn, marketing manager for Yarmouth Tourism, said: 'This lighting really illuminates the positive impact the BID is having.'

She said the improved marking budget brought about by the BID had permitted a television and radio advertising campaign on a much larger scale than before.

'We know a two to three hour driving time is critical so we have targeted the Essex and north London areas in a Sky television campaign. We have also targeted the same areas in a huge campaign on Heart radio where we have sponsored the weather.'

She added that the benefits had been underlined earlier in the summer when data from holiday giant Hoseasons revealed holiday parks in the Yarmouth area were performing better than Devon or Cornwall.

Ms Burn said: 'Lots of accommodation providers are reporting brilliant bookings and attractions such as the Sea Life Centre say business is booming.'

Christine Jay, who runs the resort's Hippodrome Circus with her husband Peter, said the new lights looked great - and the outlook for their summer spectacular show was equally bright with bookings more than 10pc up on last year.

The lights contract, which spans the duration of the BID agreement, includes all maintenance and a complete refurbishment in year three, as sea salt and sea spray are recognised to be some of the harshest conditions for metal and electrical objects to withstand.

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