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Liverpool gets the X-mas Factor

Rebecca Ferguson switches on a quarter of a million lightbulbs at once. Bang

Published on November 8th 2011.

Liverpool gets the X-mas Factor

IT may be the most deprived city in the country, but 250,000 bulbs and six miles of wiring tell a different story when the Christmas lights go on tomorrow. 

The city centre, Liverpool One and Albert Dock are to be lit up simultaneously with new parts of the centre having Christmas lights for the first time – in a bid to keep the festive shoppers in the city. 

The City Council, City Central BID, Liverpool One and the Commercial District BID have  come together for the first time, along with partners 2020 Liverpool, to deliver the illuminations which extend from Nelson Street – with lights which will also mark the Chinese New Year – through Bold Street, Church Street, Whitechapel, Lord Street and extending for the first time into Castle Street.

Many of the lights are new, and they include several with 3D effects, another first for Liverpool. They were made by Bradford Festival Lights, part of the Industrial Services Group which provides employment for people with disabilities. 

X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson is hitting the on switch, aided by a 10 year old boy from Norris Green, Thomas Nicholas. The Pinehurst Primary School pupil was invited to the Christmas lights ceremony after he wrote to council leader Councillor Joe Anderson, to ask for help in getting a footpath near his home, used by his aunt who is blind, cleared. 

Uncle Joe was so impressed by Thomas’s initiative and caring attitude that he invited him to help with the switch-on as a reward.  

Along with the lights there will be a 60 foot Christmas tree, from Grizedale Forest, which will be adorned with 10,000 LED lights, baubles, stars and pine cones, in Church Street where it will be the focus of festive entertainment. 

Councillor Wendy Simon, city council cabinet member for tourism and culture, said;

This year, in these difficult economic times, attracting people to Liverpool at Christmas time is more important than ever. By making the city as attractive as possible with really eye-catching lights and with great entertainment and a market we are showing that there is only one place to come to for Christmas this year.

Rebecca Ferguson will entertain shoppers with her own material, including debut single, Nothing’s Real But Love. 

She said: “After a whirlwind year, it’s amazing to be back in my hometown to headline the Christmas celebrations. There’s such a brilliant atmosphere in the city at Christmas.”

Christmas in the Park will also open on Chavasse Park, with a real ice rink, grotto and the brand new Polar Bar.

*Christmas Lights switch-on, Wednesday 9 November, 6pm, Paradise Place (near John Lewis), Liverpool One.

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