Durham County Council’s leader has praised the Lumiere light festival as calls went out for sponsors to help it return once more.
Coun Simon Henig, said the festival has “put Durham firmly on the world map”.
The Lumiere festival - which is centred around light installations in Durham - has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the city in its three previous events.
Coun Henig said: “Lumiere has put Durham firmly on the world map and has become our signature event.
“Having benefitted from working with Artichoke to deliver three Lumiere festivals in Durham now, it is clear that the economic boost is consistent and significant.
“There are not many business deals which see such a phenomenal return on investment and which allow us to show the world what a fantastic destination Durham is.
“I would like to encourage organisations throughout our area to help us to make up the remaining funds needed to deliver this fantastic event again.”
Artistic company Artichoke, which puts on the event, is looking for firms to sponsor individual installations to that next year’s event can go ahead.
Helen Marriage, director of Artichoke said: “When we brought Lumiere to Durham for the first time in 2009, little did we know that it would become a fixture in the region, and be making the
economic impact that it does.
“We are thrilled at the prospect of coming back to Durham in 2015, and of having the opportunity to renew old relationships and create new ones.
“The £1.1m pledged by Durham County Council and Arts Council England sets us well on the way to raising the total budget of £1.7m required to bring Lumiere to Durham in 2015.
“We’ve worked hand-in-hand with the county council and forged ever-closer links with our other partners with each Lumiere festival.
“I’m confident that with the council’s support, we will be able to build on these relationships with local partners and sponsors to help us make Lumiere a reality for 2015.”
Lumiere was created by Artichoke in Durham in 2009, and took place again in 2011 and 2013.
Last year’s festival attracted 175,000 visitors to Durham, bringing eonomic benefits worth £5.8m. The event was later replicated in Derry-Londonderry as part of its City of Culture programme.
Anyone interested in sponsoring an event at Lumiere should contact Anna Vinegrad at firstname.lastname@example.org or by ringing 07813 808487.