2 October 2020


Swindon’s first Virtual Christmas Light Switch-On, produced by inSwindon BID will take place online via their Facebook page tomorrow, Saturday 3rd October, from 6pm-7pm.

inSwindon BID announced the transformation of the traditional Christmas Light Switch-On into a free-to-access live streamed event for 2020, as part of ‘Swindon’s Illumina’. The new campaign aims to drive footfall safely into the town centre in support of all businesses through visual, virtual and digital experiences across the festive season.

inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger said, “We're conscious that the local community may be stretched financially this year, so we hope that businesses and town centre visitors can benefit from us bringing forward the official switch on. By extending the Christmas shopping period, visitors are able to spread out their town centre Christmas shopping to help with budgeting. And more importantly, they can avoid overcrowding and stay safe by allowing shops to maintain social distancing. The extended shopping period will support town centre businesses by bringing in sales sooner and spreading income over a longer period of time.”

This year’s virtual event is dedicated to the amazing work of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, emergency services and all keyworkers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and will feature an exclusive projection, light and fire show for the switch-on moment, as the Christmas lights illuminate the town centre until 6th January 2021.

The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust nominated staff whose work had be recognised throughout the pandemic, to take part in this year’s BIG switch on moment as:

Edyta Buczkowska-Michalak - Endoscopy Nurse

Deborah Phair - Ward Manager, Woodpecker Ward

Abbey McNab - Healthcare Assistant, Neptune Ward

Rachel Moreman - Ward Clerk, Neptune Ward

Dr Debbie Finch - Department of Medicine for the Elderly Consultant and Deputy Associate Medical Director for Unscheduled Care

inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger added, “We look forward to paying tribute to our nominated NHS Heroes, our emergency services and all key workers who have worked tirelessly for our town. I really hope viewers at home tune in to support not only their town centre, but all of those whom we are dedicating the online event to.”

The event features a variety of pre-recorded performances from ten local acts and is hosted by BBC Radio Wiltshire's Ben Prater and Totally Crazy. There will also be special messages from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s CEO, Kevin McNamara, Mayor of Swindon Cllr Gary Perkins and BID Manager Anita Bellinger.

Plus, 2020’s Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Fayth Ifil and singer, stage star, TV personality and Principle of Swindon’s Wilkes Academy, Jonathan Wilkes, will share their special messages as they introduce some of the entertainment for the viewers at home.

Viewers are also encouraged to get involved by donning their Christmas jumpers, decorations and all for a chance to WIN a range of £50 and £100 vouchers. Simply take a photo and add this to the comments under the live stream for a chance to WIN.

Children at home will have the chance to WIN £50 to spend at The Entertainer by answering a special question during the show and posting the answers below the live stream. Stay tuned on the night for all the details of how to enter and WIN.

And there’s more - from 1st November, as part of Swindon’s Illumina 2020, visitors will also be able to enjoy a ‘Luminary Business Trail’, which will see a variety of stars illuminate windows across the town centre as part of the visual campaign, plus a ‘Virtual Christmas Market’ will also take place via the BID’s social media channels to promote businesses across the town centre to visitors looking for their all-important gifts and seasonal shopping and will feature a selection of competitions.

Swindon’s first Virtual Christmas Light Switch-On will take place online via inSwindon BID’s Facebook page - @inSwindon - tomorrow, Saturday 3rd October, from 6pm-7pm.

For all the latest information across Swindon’s Illumina and the virtual Christmas Light Switch-On, visit www.swindontowncentre.co.uk or social media channels, @inSwindon.