‘Fresh approach’ to Christmas lights promised - but Tunnel of Light will return

PUBLISHED: 09:25 25 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:57 25 October 2019

Tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich. Samantha Skouros and her daughter Betty enjoying the lights.

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

Archant Norfolk 2016

A popular festive attraction which has become a mainstay of the city centre’s Christmas offering is due to return this year - though a “fresh approach” has been promised elsewhere.

Tunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLYTunnel of Light on Hayhill, Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The much-loved Tunnel of Light, which since 2016 has lit up the streets from Gentleman's Walk to the Forum, is due to be reinstalled ahead of the big switch on next month - as it will for the next three Christmases.

The tunnel consists of more than 50,000 LED lights and close to six miles of light strings and has become a popular part of the Christmas light arrangements from the Norwich Business Improvement District.

However, it could have all been different, with Stefan Gurney, chairman of the BID said serious consideration had been given to retiring the attraction this year.

He said: "When we were designing the Christmas lights for this year, we did consider whether the tunnel had run its course.

"However, all the feedback we had about it said that people really love it and that it would just not be a Norwich Christmas without it.

"It now feels very intrinsically Norwich, so we have renewed it for the next three years. The animations and timings will be different again this year and it will come to life as part of the switch on."

But while the tunnel will be much of the same, Mr Gurney has promised a new feel to the rest of the festive light offering, with the BID taking a new approach to the decorations.

He said: "We are really refreshing the whole of the Christmas lights across the city and have taken a wholly new approach.

"We will be lighting up more than 40 trees across the city and have been working alongside the city council to make sure these follow all of the appropriate safety process.

"We're hoping it will be a really nice refresh with a new and different appeal."

The city's Christmas lights are due to be switched on at 7pm on Thursday, November 14 on an evening that will see a whole host of festive family activities across Norwich.

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