Search for new Christmas lights with 'wow' factor for Sheffield city centre

Sheffield city centre will be lit up with Christmas illuminations with a “wow factor” as council chiefs look for stunning new decorations.

Monday, 18th October 2021, 1:44 pm
Festive lights in the Peace Gardens

The council is offering a new four year contract to “illuminate Sheffield with a fresh scheme that has high impact and a wow factor appropriate for a large city”.

The council says the current illuminations are five years old and have become “tired looking”. There’s not enough time to get the new lights in place for this year but they would be installed for Christmas 2022.

Angela Gower, city centre officer, said: “Sheffield Council provides illuminations to add vibrancy and animation which attracts visitors, increases spend to businesses, adding to the economic value of the city centre particularly in the wake of several Covid lockdowns.

“Due to the length of this contract and upcoming regeneration in parts of the city centre, the successful supplier must be flexible as some options may not be available in future years.

“Including the Town Hall Christmas tree and lights, anchor points, testing, installation, maintenance and removal, the total budget is £155,000 per year for hire of new cross street features, large 3D displays, column mounted features, Christmas tree and festoons across all sites.”

The council wants one supplier who can test equipment, install and maintain the illuminations then dismantle and store them.

The tender will emphasis the need for “quality and feature designs” and the lights will need to be energy efficient LEDs.

The report adds: “Festive illuminations are a high-profile service and play an integral part in creating a festive atmosphere over the Christmas period for visitors, residents and retailers and help to maintain a modern, vibrant city centre.

“There may be some generic electrical contractors who may consider bidding who may not necessarily have the skills, expertise and experience in providing what is a niche and specialist requirement in a highly public arena.

“There is a reputational risk if a contractor is appointed based on price with little or no attention to quality, design and experience, potentially resulting in a persistent failure of the lights.”