Funding bid success for new company will help bring back Morecambe’s lights

The prospect of an exciting light event for Morecambe every winter has improved with the news that Morecambe Sparkle CIC has been awarded two new grants.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 3:35 pm

Morecambe Sparkle CIC (Community Interest Company) is a new, independent company set up to develop and run an ambitious programme of lights, events and experiences every winter.

In principle, funding of £75,150 has been made available from the Lancashire Economic Recovery & Growth Fund by Lancashire County Council and match funding of £8,350 from Morecambe BID.

The initial bid was encouraged by Morecambe South county councillor Charlie Edwards when the fund was first launched in 2020.

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Morecambe Sparkle 2021. Photo by beanphoto

The ambition is to extend the tourism season into the winter, supporting the hospitality and cultural businesses of the town.

The funding will cover the costs for the development of Morecambe Sparkle’s initial plans and a feasibility study undertaken by independent consultants to investigate their viability, market appeal, economic benefits, engineering robustness, business planning and artistic quality.

Morecambe Sparkle CIC has already received pledges of more than £120,000 to deliver the scheme depending on the outcome of the feasibility study, and will run a continuous fundraising programme to build up the Sparkle programme for a long-term future.

County Coun Aidy Riggott, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for economic development and growth, said: "Morecambe Sparkle has the potential to reinvent winter illuminations in a way that would be unique to the town, and bring new visitors and investment along with opportunities for residents and businesses for decades to come.

"We established the Lancashire Economic Recovery and Growth fund to be able to give projects like this the financial boost they need to get off the ground, and demonstrate the economic value of a contribution which unlocks further investment in the town.

"I'm very happy to be in the position to help Morecambe Sparkle develop a strong and sustainable business case to support its success for the future."

Lancaster city councillor Tricia Heath, cabinet member for economic recovery, said: “The city council is keen to see a strengthening of Morecambe’s appeal as an all year round resort.

“We are pleased to see members of our community in Morecambe come forward to form this new start-up, Morecambe Sparkle CIC, and we will support it during this initial phase by acting as the new company’s accountable body.”