Photos: Lancaster Christmas lights switch-on

Thousands gathered for Lancaster’s Christmas lights switch-on as it played host to a star-studded line-up.

An estimated 10,000 people attended the event, organised by Lancaster Business Improvement District (BID) and The Bay Radio.

Lancaster Christmas Lights Switch-on. Photos: Paul Simpson

Lancaster Christmas Lights Switch-on. Photos: Paul Simpson

Lancaster’s X Factor star Paul Akister took to the stage in Market Square, along with soul star Lemar, and Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston, former members of Eurovision Song Contest-winning band Bucks Fizz.

The trio were joined by singer Bobby McVay. The other original member Bobby G still tours separately with Bucks Fizz after a legal battle for ownership of the name.

Liz Hickingbotham, BID manager, said: “It is our intention that these lovely new lights will encourage shoppers to shop on all of these streets during the festive season. It’s part of our strategy to improve the street-scape of the city centre and lighting up as many shops as possible on these darker days is one way to make the shops and pathways more attractive to visitors.”

Tom Mann and Barclay Beales, formerly of Stereo Kicks, joined the festivities as a duo on Sunday November 22, as part of the annual outdoor music concert. Stereo Kicks were an eight-piece boy band formed during last year’s series of ITV talent show The X Factor. Bailey McConnell, young Britain’s Got Talent star Henry Gallagher, Tiger Heart, Jack Morlen (formerly of Everyoung) and local acts Amy Jo Clough and Imogen Rae also entertained crowds.

It is our intention that these lovely new lights will encourage shoppers to shop on all of these streets during the festive season.

Liz Hickingbotham, BID manager

Last year Lancaster’s BID was extended to include New Street, New Street Square, Sir Simons Arcade, Francis Passage and up Penny Street. The BID further extended the scheme this year to include the top of Market Street, Church Street, and upper Penny Street.