This year has brought extra challenges for everyone, including businesses, and the funding for the impressive lighting has been secured by the council from external sources, as part of investing in a brighter future for local businesses and the economy.
The lights are the start of “See Great Yarmouth in a Different Light”, a vibrant new winter programme of Covid-safe activities and experiences supporting recovery in the borough, organised by the council and supported by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), the Town Centre Partnership, the Government’s Covid recovery fund, and other partners.
The programme will brighten up and animate Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Hemsby during the darkest months, with a range of fun and festivities being planned into 2021. It is part of longer-term ambitions to develop a winter season as part of fostering a more resilient, year-round visitor economy.
In Great Yarmouth, the lighting display stretches from Great Yarmouth Minster through Market Row, the Market Place and King Street, St George’s Park and the seafront, where there is extra lighting along North Drive. In the Market Place, people can experience walking through a 20-metre-long multi-colour Tunnel of Light, on every day from noon to late.
In Gorleston, there is new lighting along the High Street, while the seafront bandstand is lit-up in multi colours. Meanwhile, Hemsby’s Beach Road is being lit up for the first time, with lighting braids around the street lighting columns. Further bespoke displays will be installed before Christmas in all three destinations, including a wind turbine theme strung along Regent Road.
Cllr Carl Smith, the council leader, said: “Out of the darkness of Covid, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Hemsby are again lighting up to welcome shoppers and visitors this winter season, to support our local businesses into recovery. This beautiful lighting is funded by external money secured by the council and is really enhancing that safe Christmas shopping experience.
“The displays are an amazing and safe spectacle, and many will stay up throughout winter beyond Christmas, helping to brighten up our darkest months of the year for residents and visitors alike. So come on down, experience the spectacle for yourself and back our local traders. See Great Yarmouth in a different light, shop local and, remember, shop safe.”
Town Centre manager Jonathan Newman, of Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership, said: "It is wonderful to see all the fantastic new decorative lighting displays up for what is going to be a shorter run-in to Christmas for many shops and businesses this year.
“I would implore everyone to get out there and enjoy the festive atmosphere that the light installations create and experience the magic whilst supporting your local traders by shopping safely.”
Lyndon Bevan, chairman of GYTABIA, said: "This is great news, working in partnership with Great Yarmouth Borough Council continues to help us build our overall winter offer. The switch on, with all the new lighting enhancements, really will encourage people to get out and about and support our local businesses."