Walsall Illuminations - closed
The town's historic lights attraction will be closed for the next three years by Walsall Council in a bid to save money.
Walsall Illuminations '08
The future of the annual display has been in question for months due to spiralling costs and dwindling attendance.
Council bosses have announced that the Illuminations will be closed for 2009 - and the subsequent two years.
Councillor Louise Harrison, Walsall Council cabinet member for leisure, said: "After very careful evaluation we have opted to not to go ahead with the Illuminations in 2009.
"Value for money for Walsall taxpayer in these unstable economic times is paramount. The event has recorded a loss in recent years and we simply cannot risk allowing this to continue."
The Illuminations, traditionally held in the picturesque 35-acre Walsall Arboretum, will also be closed in 2010 and 2011 as the venue undergoes a makeover through a national lottery bid.
The lights have been on display every year since 1951. They suffered from a record low attendance in 2008, making a loss of £167,000.
Just over 111,000 visitors came to the attraction during its six week September - November run in 2008, compared with 377,000 in 1989.
Walsall Council hope to save up to £170,000 a year by dropping the Illuminations as part of its long term cost-cutting measures.
Do you agree that Walsall illuminations should be closed? Have your say below:
last updated: 25/02/2009 at 12:02
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