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8th May 2019
Cheltenham's bid to become a 'City of Light'

Cheltenham could become a ‘city of light’ as part of bid to make more of its famous buildings

After the success of events such as Light Up Cheltenham, council bosses hope to turn the town into a ‘City of Light’. Encouraged by positive feedback to the three-week event that lit up some buildings in Cheltenham in February, the borough council wants to take it on further.

Writing in a column in the Gloucestershire Echo, the authority’s cabinet member for healthy lifestyles, Councillor Flo Clucas (LD, Swindon Village) outlined the plans.

She said: “Cheltenham Borough Council and our partners are working to create a City of Light, that will further showcase our magnificent buildings, enable stories to be told as light projections and use our town centre as a living theatre.”

She said this was on the back of Light up Cheltenham but also before that, in November last year, the projection of images on to the Municipal Offices to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.
She said: “Cheltenham’s World War One commemorations have been universally praised and rightly so.

“Now, the projection that was seen ‘live’ by some 4,000 Cheltonians and on line by half a million people, has been submitted for a national award.” Councillor Clucas said the original idea for the projection had come from a visit to Le Mans in France, where a festival of light takes place each year. In different parts of the town, stories are projected onto buildings. She said the projection inspired her to demonstrate that such an experience could also be created in Cheltenham. She added: “The online impact has been incredible.

“Equally the Light Up Cheltenham event in February, run by the BID, used illuminations to highlight some of the great buildings that we have in Cheltenham.

“As part of that event, the big wheel caused a lot of excitement and over 10,000 people took the chance to have a ride.

'All this is in addition to the more traditional Christmas lights which have got more impressive over recent years and have their own switch-on show.”

She said expanding lights in Cheltenham would offer a great opportunity for its schools, university students and businesses.

And she said the project, which would encourage young people with ideas to come to the town, would be the subject of talks this week between the council and its partners.

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