BCP Council Blachere Illumination

BCP Council reveals details of inaugural Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival

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Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP Council) has unveiled details of a new Christmas event that it hopes will attract visitors to the area.

The Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival will celebrate Poole’s nautical heritage. It will comprise a ttrail of maritime-themed lights that will see Poole landmarks lit up. 

The Christmas attraction, which runs from November 19, 2022 until January 2, 2023, hopes to draw the crowds and put Poole on the festive event calendar. 

The trail will include a bespoke tall ship, a giant anchor, an “under-the-sea” walk-under light curtain, and a flotilla of lights on Poole Quay.

BCP Council has awarded Blachere Illumination with the contract to design, build and install the Christmas lighting features.

For the first year, BCP Council has a budget of £225,000.00 (exclusive of VAT) for the delivery of the design, hire and installation of lighting and associated features for the Poole Christmas Maritime Lighting Festival. The contract awarded is for an initial one-year period and then there is the option to extend annually for a further four years should funding be extended and all parties are happy to continue. 

Councillor Beverley Dunlop, portfolio holder for Tourism, Culture and Vibrant Places at BCP Council, commented: “I am delighted that this personal ambition, for Poole to have its own Christmas Festival, is coming to fruition. Poole’s character has been shaped by the sea as a town of merchants and mariners, so we’ve intentionally crafted a festival to celebrate its important heritage.

“This exciting new Christmas event builds upon the attractions from Festival Coast Live! with Poole already being entertained by live music and performances on the Quay, and the big screen in Poole Park. Complimenting a busy summer programme, it promises to go even further and bring a new Christmas sparkle with lots of festive cheer to our residents and visitors.”

In addition to the light installations, there are plans for funfair rides, a Christmas themed market, and food and drink offers placed throughout the town.

Jacqui Rock, chief executive of Poole Town Centre BID, which is the main sponsor of this festival commented: “I think this year will be the first year that Christmas will truly be celebrated throughout the Poole BID area. The festival is creating individual attractions along the entire length of the Poole BID area forming a continuous stream from Lighthouse to Poole Quay.

“Poole has never had such an extensive Christmas event that reaches across the whole of the town centre and spans six weeks. I’m particularly proud that it has been achieved without any increase in the budget from last year. Part of my role at Poole BID is to secure Grant Funding to underpin Levy Payer funds and this year I’ve matched the BID contribution with a grant which allows nearly £100,000 of investment into the festival.

“As the major funder of the Poole Christmas Maritime Light Festival we are regularly involved in its progress with the BCP Council team to progress the event and ensure all parties are engaged.”