Tourism Review of Walsall Illuminations
Walsall Illuminations has been held at the Arboretum in Walsall for over 50 years. Running over a six week period, the light-themed event has, in the past, attracted upwards of 250,000 visitors per annum, making it one of the West Midlands’ most successful visitor attractions.
However, since reaching its peak in the mid 90’s, by 2004 attendance figures had dropped to around 160,000 people. We were part of a team brought in by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council in 2005 to develop a vision and a way forward for the visitor attraction that would satisfy a wider range of audiences and help reverse downward visitor trends. We reviewed the concept, assessed the economic impact and considered proposals for how the Illuminations event could maximise the local benefit.
Based on our final report, at the end of 2006 the Cabinet of Walsall Council voted to implement a five year programme of investment in new attractions and infrastructure with the aim of achieving the vision and objectives set out in our report. An Illuminations Working Group has been charged with steering the change programme.