Lancashire

Blackpool Tower: Landmark dimmed during Illuminations

Blackpool Tower Image copyright Blackpool Council/Getty Images
Image caption Blackpool Tower is only partially lit (left) this year contrasting with its usual illuminated presence

Blackpool Tower is having its lights replaced which means it will only be partially lit during this year's Illuminations.

The £200,000 project, which aims to fit lighting suitable for severe weather, will upgrade all of the landmark's lights over the next 18 months.

The heart on the front of the tower has already been fitted with new lights.

The council said it hoped the tower will be fitted with more durable lighting in time for next year's event.

'Severe elements'

Around six miles of Blackpool's coastline are lit up with colourful designs during the Illuminations, which are switched on for 66 days.

But only the legs of the tower facing the sea and the top of the tower will be lit up this year along with the heart due to to the lighting upgrade.

Councillor Gillian Campbell from Blackpool Council told the Local Democracy Reporting Service it was "disappointing" the whole tower could not be lit up,

But she said the replacement of lighting "on such a large scale structure cannot be achieved overnight".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption More than three million people come to see the Blackpool Illuminations every year

Claire Smith, president of hoteliers group StayBlackpool, visitors had remarked that the illuminations were "fabulous" but had noticed the tower was only partially lit.

"Hopefully the work can be done sooner rather than later as it's vital the tower is fully lit again," she added.

Kate Shane, head of the Merlin cluster of attractions in Blackpool said the tower would "soon be back to its full resplendent glory".

She added: "The old kit is up to 500ft in the air and there are 100mph wind gusts at times so the elements are quite severe."

The last time the lights on the tower were replaced was in 2011 when 10,000 old pygmy bulbs were replaced with more efficient LED lights as part of a £250,000 refurbishment programme.

This year's switch-on was on 30 August and the Blackpool Illuminations will run until 3 November.

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