Matlock Bath Illuminations under review by the council

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

The council is reviewing how it delivers the famous Matlock Bath Illuminations in its ongoing evaluation of services.

At the Bakewell Forum held last week by Derbyshire Dales District Council, the head of community development Ashley Watts announced the authority was looking at ways of providing the Illuminations more efficiently.

District councillor Geoff Stevens, who has compered the event for 47 years, said: “It’s looking at the whole structure of things, which is what we’re doing for all the council services.

“‘What are we doing now, are we doing it right?’

“With the numbers we are attracting I think we can say we are probably not doing too badly.

“I don’t think there is any intention to change what we provide – the parade of boats and the fireworks – it’s things like how do we get people into the grounds more quickly and when we have got large crowds, how to we cope with that.”

It is estimated that by the time the Illuminations draw to a close on October 25, they will have attracted around 100,000 people to the area, bringing in a revenue of around £116,000.

Each year the money made from the Illuminations is sunk into the following year’s event along with any sponsorship from local businesses, which each year are approached by the council and asked to make a donation to the costs.

Councillor Stevens said if ever the event makes a profit, the council will look at reinvesting it in new lights.

He explained that he initially got involved with the Illuminations when he and some friends decorated a boat for the parade.

The organisers were struggling to find a compere that year, so he volunteered to do it.

“I never dreamed when I started I would be doing it got this long,” Cllr Stevens continued.

“It’s hard to explain to people, if you go down there on a Saturday night there is a buzz – it’s something that is a bit infectious.

“Families come back year on year through generations.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council added: “As with all the service reviews, the key aim is to provide the same (or better) level of service while making efficiencies, particularly with regard to the implementation of new technology etc.

“The findings of the Illuminations Review will be published sometime after the current season ends on October 25.”

For further information on this season’s Matlock Bath Illumination visit the Derbyshire Dales District Council’s website