Baylight Festival a Shining Example

Lancashire County Council Press Release (17 FEB 2024)

Morecambe’s Baylight festival is a shining example of how Lancashire County Council aims to support businesses and communities to boost the local economy, according to councillors who attended Friday’s official launch.

This weekend marks the second year of the 3-day winter lights event on Morecambe’s seafront, with expectations that it will once again attract thousands of visitors during what is normally a quieter time for the town’s businesses.

The county council awarded £425,000 to Morecambe Sparkle CIC to support the first two years of Baylight, with research showing last year’s inaugural event alone produced an economic impact of over £800,000.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, cabinet member for economic development and growth, said:

“It was immediately clear during last year’s event that Baylight was going to be a tremendous success, and if the numbers of people we saw enjoying the lights on Friday night are anything to go by, the results from this weekend should be even better.

“Baylight ’24 was advertised as being bigger and more spectacular, and it’s a huge credit to Morecambe Sparkle that they’ve delivered on that promise. This year’s installations are really creative and original, and add up to a lights festival that is really unique to Morecambe.

“Our aim in supporting Baylight to get off the ground was always to see our initial investment produce a much bigger return for the economy, and I’m really pleased that the local community has worked so hard to really make the most of that and achieve the results we’ve seen over the last two years.

“We’ve supported the development of a huge range of projects from the £12.8m Economic Recovery and Growth Fund which the county council established in 2021 to help Lancashire’s economy bounce back after the pandemic, from training and mentoring for rural businesses, to supporting business cases for major infrastructure projects.

“The success of Baylight is a great example of what we wanted to achieve, and reflects how our economic development team works with local businesses throughout the year to help Lancashire’s economy grow, and support jobs for our residents.

“It’s clear that there’s a real appetite for winter lights in Morecambe. We will continue to offer advice to assist any future programmes, and I’d encourage everyone to support Baylight in the future to build on the success of these first two years.”

County Councillor Aidy Riggott