Blackpool Illuminations organiser Marketing Blackpool may close

Gary Barlow stepped in at the last minute to perform at the switch-on Gary Barlow was praised for stepping in at the last minute

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Blackpool Council may axe the organisation responsible for the loss-making illuminations switch-on event.

Marketing Blackpool, part-funded by the council, lost £375,000 on this year's concert, which saw Gary Barlow step in after The Script withdrew.

Marketing Blackpool was set up two years ago to encourage tourism and introduced a charge of £34 for tickets to the switch-on concert.

The Labour-led council has proposed taking over the job to save money.

There will be no redundancies as the staff are employed by the council and will be found different roles, councillor Graham Cain said.

'Worst switch-on'

The cabinet member for tourism and leisure said: "Marketing Blackpool has had its successes, unfortunately it's carrying a large deficit [of £288,000].

"We believe that bringing it back into the responsibility of the council we can see some savings we can make.

"At a time when the council is having to make £16m of savings we need to look at the most efficient way of running all aspects of our business."

The switch-on concert, in September, was described as "the worst switch-on in 100 years" by the council's opposition Conservative leader Tony Williams.

The council's executive will vote on the proposal to close down Marketing Blackpool on Monday.

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