Reflecting on a brilliant Light Night for Nottingham

Light Night 2015 was a huge success for Nottingham as visitors, businesses, and community groups came together to put on a brilliant night out.

The free event, which took place on Friday 6th February 2015, attracted over 20,000 people into the city centre.

Light Night is based on several European events, including , Nuits Blanche, Notte Bianca and Fastnacht where museums and galleries stay open late so that people can take part in a late night cultural offer. In Nottingham, Light Night was introduced in 2008, and has been held every February since. The date for Light Night 2016 has been confirmed as Friday 5th February.

If you had a good experience then please share it with us, there is still time and we would love to hear what makes this a special night for you either as a participant or a visitor. Please go to https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=142253933787 you have until 6th March.

A huge amount of support and input from local community groups and businesses is always vital to the success of Light Night and you can join in by bringing something different to the street or a venue for others to share or to gain a new audience for what you do all year long as a community group in the city. Light Night has been established and is annually facilitated by Nottingham City Council. It is thanks to the collaboration, effort and energy of individuals, groups and venues including: the Creative Quarter company, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham Writers Studio, City Arts, Ice Nine, Nottingham Trent University, Sneinton Community Traders, NOMAD, and many more.

  • Churches such as St Andrew’s with Castle Gate, St Nic’s, St. Peters , St. Barnabas and St Mary’s, put on a range of activities including dancing, art installations and live music.
  • Local businesses including the St James Hotel, Sobar, 200 Degrees Coffee, and Debbie Bryan also got involved, putting on free activities and offering people a place to warm up.
  • Nottingham Castle saw over 9500 visitors come through the doors as people took advantage of the free entry offer, as well as enjoying the live music and activities put on for them.
  • The Galleries of Justice put on free tours of the Lace Market, written specially for Light Night, as well as free horse and carriage tours of the Lace Market, and received 4000 visitors.

Nottingham City Council leads on the planning and co-ordination for Light Night, pulling together input and activities from other groups in the city. Lots of pictures and information about this year’s event were shared on Twitter, with Nottingham City Council’s Light Night tweets reaching 3.5million people.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “There was such a wonderfully friendly and positive atmosphere at this year’s Light Night – it was great to see so many people, including families, out and about enjoying the city after dark. Thank you to all of the groups around the city who came together to make it such a success, as well as the dedicated officers at Nottingham City Council who worked incredibly hard on the event as ever.”

Kathy McArdle, Chief Executive Officer at the Creative Quarter Company, said: “This was another wonderful Light Night for Nottingham – it’s so important to have an initiative at this time of year to get people into the city centre enjoying themselves and contributing to the cultural life of the city. It’s a lovely artistic and creative way to leave the winter behind and celebrate the coming of spring. We’re really pleased that the Creative Quarter, its partner businesses and visitor attractions have been able to support Light Night with installations and activities in Hockley and the Lace Market.”

Light Night was also used to highlight the importance of rubbish and recycling in the city. Nottingham recently won the accolade of Britain’s cleanest city, and community groups and organisations across the city were given the challenge of making something beautiful and bright out of recycled rubbish. Eight groups took up the challenge, producing stunning sculptures and installations that were displayed around the city on Light Night.

Two groups were joint winners – The Scrap Heap Band by St Andrew’s Church with Castle Gate Junior Church and ICEcycle by Playworks. Over 1500 people voted for their favourite sculptures, and the winners split a £2000 prize.

Cllr Nicola Heaton, Portfolio Holder for Community Services at Nottingham City Council, said: “The competition proved really popular with the public and was a great addition to a fantastic night out.”

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