Plymouth’s city centre will sparkle extra brightly this festive season with a new and spectacular display of Christmas lights, specially themed to reflect the city’s connections with the sea.
A beautiful wave-shaped arch will form a new walk-through entrance to Plymouth Christmas Market (December 2-19) close to the Sundial, whilst at the other end of the market the giant bauble archway, always popular for selfies, will be redressed in multi-coloured lights.
Elsewhere in the city centre the streets will be lit up with giant sail banners and, for the first time in the city, curtains of light and other features that can be animated and used all year-round.
The Plymouth City Centre Company, which runs the city centre Business Improvement District (BID), is working with a newly appointed Christmas lights supplier, LITE Ltd & Twinkly UK, to create the new display which will be switched on from Thursday, November 18, coinciding with the first late-night shopping evening.
The new displays will include banners stretched across New George Street and Cornwall Street and sail banners on street lamps throughout the city centre, as well as colourful contemporary lighting displays in the trees in Frankfort Gate, the West End and Armada Way.
This year will see new additions to the illuminations. A ‘light ceiling’ will cover part of Mayflower Street, with rows of lights stretched across the road. The side of House of Fraser facing Armada Way will be covered in an impressive light curtain which will feature Christmas messaging and displays throughout the festive period.
Twinkly UK’s innovative technology uses LED lights that are individually controllable, allowing the colours and designs of the lights to be customised and opening up new opportunities for more creative displays.
Steve Hughes, Chief Executive of Plymouth City Centre Company, said: “The new Christmas lights are going to look amazing and they certainly add to the festive shopping experience, so we’re delighted to be brightening the city centre streets with these new and improved exciting displays.
“Now, more than ever, our high street stores need your support. This Christmas, why not come into the city centre, enjoy the lights and browse our fantastic shops before indulging in drinks or dinner at one of the many amazing eateries?
“Every pound you spend on the high street rather than online will make a big difference, helping to put money back into the local economy.”
As the new lights are easy to change thanks to Twinkly UK’s technology, many will be kept up throughout the year and used for other major events.
The Christmas lights will be switched on at a free, family-friendly event in the Piazza on Thursday 18 November with a full programme of entertainment, including an amazing performance by Joey The Lips. More information about the event will be shared soon.
The Christmas Lights switch-on is just one element of the city centre’s expanded Christmas programme, which includes Street Factory’s Roots Up! Hip Hop festival, now taking place the following evening on Friday, November 19, and the Plymouth Christmas Market, which runs from December 2-19 and includes a programme of live entertainment, including choirs, a brass band and much more.
Find all the latest information about Christmas in Plymouth here.