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Laser light show wows crowds at Chichester Canal Basin

Thousands of people came to enjoy a laser light show spectacle at Chichester Canal Basin at the weekend.

Laser Light Show 2024

The free event was organised by Chichester District Council and the volunteer-led charity Chichester Canal Trust, with the majority of funding coming from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The lasers were provided by the company Firework Store, while sound and light around the basin itself were delivered by local company the Showmen Event Group.

Spectators were treated to two eye-catching light shows set to music on both nights. The beginning of the shows also celebrated the Chichester Canal painting by the renowned artist Turner, and the 40th anniversary of the Turner prize.

In the lead up to the event people could meet and have photos with a glow character courtesy of Nick Cook, end enjoy plus food and refreshments from locally-based drink stalls, while the canal café was also open to visitors. People also enjoyed taking selfies by the 'ilovechi' logo projection created by Strohacker Design School.

This year part of Canal Wharf was closed to vehicles to give more space to spectators and the event was opened by Chair of Chichester District Council, Councillor Clare Apel.

The event generated lots of positive comments including:

  • Watched the 7.30 show with two children and it was amazing! They loved it. Especially for a free event!
  • It was a delight! Thank you for the entertainment.
  • Congratulations to Chichester District Council, The Chichester Ship Canal Trust and Chichester Rotary Club for a fantastic light show on the canal this evening! What a great way to start a weekend!!
  • Loads of people saying how they enjoyed it and hope it will be back next year! A real family event and free!
  • What a great show for our local community! We loved it - thank you.

"We're so pleased at the success of the shows again this year and that even more people were able to come and enjoy them," says Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council. "It was great to see so many families and people of all ages there, and luckily, the rain didn't arrive until after the second show on Saturday! Once again, we've received lots of positive feedback, we really hope that everyone enjoyed it and had a good time.  

"I'd like to thank local residents for helping us to make the event happen and to the amazing volunteers at Chichester Canal Trust for their help and support in the organisation. We're also very appreciative of members of the Rotary Club of Chichester for their help with marshalling and keeping everyone safe on the night as well as the emergency services who were on hand both evenings - a team effort all round!"

Dorothy Cox, Trustee of the Chichester Ship Canal Trust, says: "What wonderful shows which highlighted the backdrop of the Chichester Canal Basin, and provided a fitting remembrance to Turner's history connection to the canal and the city. A good reminder of the importance of canals at the start of the 19th century". The original of Turner's 'Chichester Canal' painted in 1828, can be seen on view at Petworth House, while a copy is in the CCT Heritage Centre. Further celebrations of the famous painter could be seen in other parts of Chichester with the City Cross and Pallant House lit up in Turner's famous painting colours of yellows, ochre and oranges that typified his style."

Cllr Brown-Fuller adds: "We're always looking to attract new and more diverse events to the district. By encouraging more events to the area like this, we hope to boost the local economy and give people some amazing experiences to enjoy.

"We're also currently gathering people's feedback about the event and I would encourage people to fill in our short survey (opens new window) by 8 March. We'll then consider all the comments as part of our future event planning. If people would like to share their photos of the event, we would encourage them to do this by a SnapSea link (opens new window)."

People who would like to find out more about Chichester Canal Trust and its various volunteer opportunities (opens new window) are invited to visit their website. 

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (opens new window)is a central pillar of the UK government's Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

Date of Release: 19 February 2024

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