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Tunnel of Light Christmas campaign helps Norwich BID scoop an awards double

PUBLISHED: 15:27 30 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:35 30 June 2017

Tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich. Samantha Skouros showing her daughter Betty the lights. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich. Samantha Skouros showing her daughter Betty the lights. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

The team behind Norwich’s tunnel of light has been named the best in the country for its Christmas campaign and wider work to promote the city centre as a place for shopping, tourism and business.

close up of the tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich.  Picture: ANTONY KELLYclose up of the tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The double recognition for Norwich Business Improvement District (BID) comes as voting begins on a new five-year term for the organisation and an extension of the area it controls.

It was named the winner of Campaign of the Year for its festive promotion in 2016, as well as BID of the Year at awards run by the Association of Town and City Management.

Its Christmas in Norwich campaign last year included the 47ft-long tunnel of light, a UK first which replicated the movements of the Northern Lights and became a favourite with selfie-lovers, while 280ft projections transformed Norwich Castle and City Hall.

The tunnel included more than 57,000 LED lights and 5.6 miles of cabling, and over its seven weeks on Hay Hill it drove a 2.5pc increase in city-centre footfall, and attracted 10,000 people on its first night.

Members of the public enjoying the tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich.  Picture: ANTONY KELLYMembers of the public enjoying the tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Stefan Gurney, executive director of Norwich BID, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news and is testament to all the hard work the BID team did in making our projects a reality for Norwich.

“The Tunnel of Light was absolutely stunning and became a national talking point resulting in over one million BBC Facebook views and a marketing/PR campaign which reached over 10 million people.

“We were overwhelmed with the public’s reaction and we are excited to be bringing the tunnel back to the city later this year. We look forward to delivering more fantastic projects for everyone in Norwich to enjoy.”

To win the BID of the Year award, Norwich saw off competition from Aberdeen and Falkirk. It was recognised for city-centre projects including free wifi, the VisitNorwich app, City Hosts scheme, colourful murals and City of Stories campaign, as well as the Christmas spectacular.

Businesses are now voting on whether Norwich BID should get a new five-year term covering a bigger area.

Its five-year plans include improving the city’s gateways, reviving the River Wensum, and expanding the Christmas lights display. Firms with a rateable value of more than £30,000 are being asked to vote by July 27.

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