Swindon's Illumina 2020

Town centre Star Trail Winners

Thank you to all the businesses that took part in our Luminary Business Window Trail during December. Two lucky winners have been selected at random. Congratulations to Kristian and Mary, your gift cards are on their way. #ShineOnSwindon #SwindonTownCentre


Swindon’s Illumina Star Trail Launched

Take part in our Luminary Business Window Trail, as part of our ongoing festive campaign, Swindon’s Illumina.

16 businesses across Swindon town centre have lit up their windows with one of our illuminated stars and you could be in with a chance of winning a £25 voucher of your choice.

Each star has been given a name and all you have to do is search for them, complete the entry form and return to the pick-up point, located at Love Brownies, Faringdon Road, Swindon Town Centre, no later than Thursday 24th December. You can also scan and email your entry form to info@inswindon.com with 'Star Trail' in the subject field.

You can collect your Star Trail entry form from Love Brownies, Faringdon Road, Swindon Town Centre. Alternatively, you can save and print the entry form below.

Closing date for entries: Midnight, Sunday 3rd January 2021. Two winners will be selected at random from all completed entries after the closing date and notified by telephone or email.

Full competition terms and conditions can be viewed at: https://www.swindontowncentre.co.uk/terms-and-conditions/




Luminary Business Trail and Virtual Christmas Market Postponed 

As you will be aware, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson set out a new four-week national lockdown on Saturday 31st October, that will commence from Thursday 5th November across England. 

The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. After which, the Government will look at returning to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

With this in mind, we have taken the decision to postpone the Luminary Business Trail and the Virtual Christmas Market until the national restrictions are lifted, which we hope will be in December, in order that all businesses involved may benefit from the initiative.

You can read our response to the November lockdown here.

We look forward to launching the Luminary Business Trail and Virtual Christmas Market very soon.  

In the meantime, you can stay up to date with all our latest news here.

Luminary Business Window Trail and Virtual Christmas Market will launch from 1st November, as part of Swindon's Illumina 2020

On Saturday 3rd October, we launched our new festive campaign - Swindon’s Illumina - as we hosted our first virtual Christmas Light Switch-On.

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.

The virtual Christmas Light Switch On launched the festive campaign to support our town centre businesses and was dedicated to the amazing work of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, emergency services and all key workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. It was hosted by BBC Wiltshire’s Ben Prater and Totally Crazy alongside 14 local acts, videos and special messages, before an exclusive projection, light and fire show for the switch-on moment was aired, as this Christmas lights illuminated the town centre.

inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger said, “We are thrilled with the support and reaction from the local community. We had people tuning in across Swindon, Oxford and even as far as Dubai! We know that the virtual event will continue to reach even more people in the lead up to Christmas, which is a wonderful way to raise awareness of our town centre across the festive period as well as through the other initiatives that will follow until 31st December.”

Social media comments and support came flooding in across the show and to date the online event has reached over 83,000 people since airing and received over 28,000 views via Facebook – and counting! Watch the video here.

Continuing Swindon’s Illumina, from 1st November visitors will also be able to enjoy a ‘Luminary Business Window Trail’, which will see a variety of stars illuminate business windows across the town centre. Plus, a ‘Virtual Christmas Market’ will take place, promoting the town centre businesses to visitors looking for their all-important gifts and seasonal shopping, as well as a selection of competitions until 31st December.

inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger added, “We are conscious that this year has had a financial impact for many, and we hope that businesses and town centre visitors can benefit from us bringing forward the official switch on. We are encouraging people to spread their spending over a longer period of time, whilst bringing in sales sooner for the businesses. And more importantly, they can avoid overcrowding and stay safe by allowing shops to maintain social distancing.”

For all the latest information across Swindon’s Illumina follow us across our social media channels - @inSwindon.

TOWN CENTRE VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS LIGHT SWITCH ON LAUNCHES ‘SWINDON’S ILLUMINA’

On Saturday 3rd October, inSwindon BID launched their new festive campaign, Swindon’s Illumina, as they hosted their first virtual Christmas Light Switch-On.

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’ back in August. 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.

This year’s virtual event was dedicated to the amazing work of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, emergency services and all keyworkers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and featured an exclusive projection, light and fire show for the switch-on moment, as this Christmas lights illuminated the town centre.

inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger said, “We are thrilled with the support and reaction from the local community. We had people tuning in across Swindon and even from Oxford and as far as Bournemouth, and we know that the virtual event will continue to reach even more people in the lead up to Christmas, which is a wonderful way to raise awareness of our town centre across the festive period.”

The online event was live streamed via Facebook and featured a variety of pre-recorded performances from local acts including The Tribe, Phoebe Maddison, Swindon Dance, Billy & Louie, PQA Swindon, Wilkes Academy, Rock Choir North Wiltshire and Jenny Bracey, as well as Josie Ellis on aerial hoop.

BBC Radio Wiltshire's Ben Prater and Damian Pickett from Totally Crazy hosted the free show and kept viewers entertained throughout, whilst also introducing special messages from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s CEO, Kevin McNamara, the Mayor of Swindon Cllr Gary Perkins and BID Manager Anita Bellinger.

Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist Fayth Ifil and singer, stage star, TV personality and Principle of Swindon’s Wilkes Academy, Jonathan Wilkes, also made an appearance sharing their special messages before introducing their favourite acts.

Social media comments and support came flooding in across the show, which reached over 75,000 within 24hrs and has received over 24,000 views so far via Facebook.

Desley Ayres commented, “Absolutely brilliant. Watched from just outside Banbury Oxfordshire.”

“A fantastic show so far. Love from us all here at Holiday Inn Express.”

Christopher Passmore added, “Yes, it’s only October! But it gives us all something to smile about. Absolutely love Christmas. Well done to all involved.”

inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger said, “We realise that for some, this may feel very early, but we’re also 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 and encouraging people to spread their spending over a longer period of time, whilst bringing in sales sooner for the businesses. And more importantly, they can avoid overcrowding and stay safe by allowing shops to maintain social distancing.”

Viewers were also encouraged to get involved and interact with the online event by donning their Christmas jumpers, decorations and all for a chance to WIN a range of £50 and £100 vouchers. Plus, children at home had the chance to WIN £50 to spend at The Entertainer, by answering a special question during the show and posting the answers below in the live stream with their parents.

Toni Brack commented, “Thank you. Have two happy grandchildren, they are loving this, they loved Santa and the Elf!”

As the switch on moment arrived, inSwindon BID shared a heartfelt video which featured five nominated NHS Heroes from the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and special guests including Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Gary Perkins and BID Manager Anita Bellinger as well as Santa and Buddy the Elf.

The video included a projection and lighting show and saw a silhouetted family looking over the Swindon skyline from the top of Liddington Hill, just before the ‘Swindon’s Illumina’ star swooshes around the David John Murray building, lighting up the town to reveal a selection of messages dedicated to the NHS, emergency services, keyworkers and the community before more bubbles of silhouettes appear.

The Christmas lights were captured through film as they glistened and twinkled across the town centre in over twelve locations, whilst the Fandango’s provided fire show in Havelock Square underneath Isambard Brunel.

Sarah Brown commented, “My family found that rather emotional. Very special to watch at a time when smiles are needed.”

The town centre Christmas lights will feature until 6th January 2021 as part of Swindon’s Illumina and visitors will also be able to enjoy a ‘Luminary Business Window 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, as well as a selection of competitions.

For all the latest information across Swindon’s Illumina visit www.swindontowncentre.co.uk or social media channels, @inSwindon.

SWINDON’S FIRST VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS LIGHT SWITCH ON TAKES PLACE TOMORROW

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.

Continue reading to find out more about the great line-up 


JUST ANNOUNCED!

Stage star, singer and TV personality Jonathan Wilkes will be sharing a special message at our first virtual Christmas Light Switch On, THIS Saturday!

RSVP here for updates

http://ow.ly/O9dd50BH8Re

#SwindonsIllumina #Christmas2020

NEW ACT ANNOUNCED!

Wilkes Academy have joined our line-up of superstars for THIS Saturday's virtual Christmas Lights Switch-On!

Stay up to date with event right here http://ow.ly/QY4750BE2Ww

#SwindonsIllumina #SwindonTownCentre #Christmas2020 #SwitchOn

SPECIAL MESSAGE JUST ANNOUNCED!


We're thrilled that Britain's Got Talent's Fayth Ifil will share a very special message at our first virtual Christmas Light Switch On, next Saturday!

RSVP for more info here http://ow.ly/Oj0Z50BCnNj
#swindontowncentre #swindonsillumina

NEW ACT ANNOUNCED!

The fantastic Fandangos are joining our virtual Christmas Light Switch-On projection and light show, with a special Fire Circus!

Saturday 3rd October http://ow.ly/pPfa50BBYVG
#SwindonTownCentre #SwindonsIllumina #Christmas2020

VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS LIGHT SWITCH-ON NEWS!


Swindon Dance have shared a fantastic virtual performance for this years Light Switch On!

More news here http://ow.ly/S6YY50BA2PF

#swindonsillumina2020 #swindontowncentre #switchon #christmas2020

NEW ACT ANNOUNCED!


We're thrilled to share that a special performance from Rock Choir North Wiltshire will feature at our virtual Christmas Light Switch On

ow.ly/1gLm50Btp1I

#swindonsillumina2020 #swindontowncentre #switchon #christmas2020

VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS LIGHT SWITCH-ON NEWS!


Another fantastic act has been added to our line-up - please welcome, Jenny Bracey!

RSVP to the Facebook event: http://ow.ly/7gdO50BA0aK

#swindonsillumina2020 #swindontowncentre #switchon #christmas2020

NEW ACT ANNOUNCED!

Huge thanks to PQA Swindon who are supporting our first virtual Christmas Light Switch On with a very special performance, as part of #SwindonsIllumina.

Find out more about the FREE online event here: https://www.swindontowncentre.co.uk/.../swindons.../

#SwindonTownCentre #SwitchOn

JUST ANNOUNCED!

We are supper excited to welcome a very special aerial hoop performance from Josie Ellis, as part of our first virtual Christmas Light Switch On!

For more information about the FREE event, RSVP to the Facebook event group here: http://ow.ly/1gLm50Btp1I

LOOK WHO'S GOING TO BE THERE!

Santa and Chief Elf, Buddy McJingles, will join us at our virtual Christmas Light Switch On! Tune in for some FREE entertainment and festive fun..

RSVP: http://ow.ly/Dj7I50Btp1G

#Christmas2020 #SwindonsIllumina2020 #SwindonTownCentre #SwitchOn

JUST ANNOUNCED!

We are super excited to share the first of many acts across our first virtual Christmas Light Switch On!

For 2020 we’ll be welcoming THE TRIBE to our Christmas Live Lounge studio!

The Tribe are the UK’s freshest Hip Hop Reggae Ska Energy Collective. Their endless energy saw them through 11 performances over 9 stages at Glastonbury Festival 2017 alone!

JUST ANNOUNCED

BBC Radio Wiltshire's Ben Prater will host our virtual Christmas Light Switch at Swindon's Illumina with our whacky host from Totally Crazy.

Join the fun http://ow.ly/VqpD50BrPip

#Christmas2020 #SwindonsIllumina2020 #SwindonTownCentre #SwitchOn

NEW ACT ANNOUNCED!

Join us in welcoming Swindon's Phoebe Maddison to our line-up of entertainment, at our first virtual Christmas Light Switch On!

At just 16, she has already appeared on ITV's The Voice Kids working with pop star, Pixie Lott and has gone on to receive an esteemed British Citizen Youth Award for her inspirational charity work, as well as winning 'West End Calling', where she performed to her largest audience of 80,000.

Her passion for her hometown is apparent through all of the local events and good causes she supports - we can't wait to welcome her back!

NEW ACT ANNOUNCED!

We're thrilled to welcome Swindon's Billy & Louie to the Christmas Live Lounge at 'Swindon's Illumina' - our very first virtual Christmas Light Switch On!

The duo have performed at numerous venues across the UK released 4 singles and a Christmas song as well as featuring on UK TV and will be appearing the BBC's new series 'Little Mix: The Search later this month!

RSVP to this years event and stay up to date with all the latest news about how to get involved and where and when you can tune in right here: https://fb.me/e/1T4GVe980

Swindon’s First Virtual Christmas Light Switch On to launch Swindon’s Illumina 2020

We have 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’.

RSVP to this years event via Facebook and stay up to date with all the latest news about how to get involved and where and when you can tune in.

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 and will launch on Saturday 3rd October, with Swindon’s first Virtual Christmas Light Switch-On.

Business Manager, Anita Bellinger said, “The annual Christmas Light Switch On attracts up to 10,000 visitors to the town centre, however the social distancing restrictions arising from COVID-19 means it cannot go ahead in its usual format. Taking the event online means more people can enjoy this safely from the comfort of their own homes.”

inSwindon BID have created a variety of visual and digital campaigns to support businesses and drive footfall safely into the town centre since lockdown was eased back in June. The #ShineOnSwindon welcome back campaign featured a colourful window decal and promoted businesses across press and social media and a unique Mural Experience is currently being created at Swindon Bus Station and Newbridge Square.

Business Manager, Anita Bellinger added, “It has been a very difficult time for all businesses, and we must all unite to support them. We’ll continue to interact with visitors to ensure Swindon town centre remains a destination of choice for business, shopping and leisure. This is why we have been working hard to bring forward our Christmas campaign and feature visual, virtual and digital experiences for now.”

Swindon’s first Virtual Christmas Light Switch-On will take place online via Facebook and Twitter on Saturday 3rd October from 6pm-7pm. It will feature a variety of pre-recorded and live performances from local talent, live hosts, special guest messages and a Twitter wall, where viewers can send in their messages of hope and support for the festive season. The full line-up of entertainment will be announced in the coming weeks.


An exclusive projection and lighting show will be revealed for the big switch-on moment dedicated to the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, emergency services and key workers, alongside the Christmas lights, which will illuminate Swindon town centre until 6th January 2021. 

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.

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.

Continue reading to find out more about the fantastic line-up for the #SwindonIllumina Virtual Christmas Light Switch-On.

NHS HEROES ANNOUNCED FOR SWINDON’S VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS LIGHT SWITCH ON

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

This year’s virtual event will feature an exclusive projection, light and fire show for the switch-on moment which recognises the amazing work of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, emergency services and keyworkers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was asked nominate staff whose work had be recognised throughout the pandemic, to take part in this year’s BIG switch on moment and they have announced them as:

Edyta Buczkowska-Michalak – Endoscopy Nurse

‘Edyta is a nurse in endoscopy who, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, nominated herself to be transferred to Saturn ward to support the ward. During this period of time, she fitted in and worked so well with the team to the point that they were requesting she stayed longer. Upon return to endoscopy, her leadership has been essential in bringing the nursing team back together.’

Deborah Phair – Ward Manager, Woodpecker Ward

‘Deborah’s leadership of Woodpecker Ward has been nothing short of fantastic through the pandemic. Woodpecker was the first ward to be designated a COVID-19 ward and remains today the Trusts recognised COVID-19 ward. Deborah has supported her entire team through the changes on the ward from both managing different patient groups as well as effectively managing the wards PPE processes and ensuring that the care the patients received wasn’t changed by the pandemic.’

Abbey McNab - Healthcare Assistant, Neptune Ward & Rachel Moreman - Ward Clerk

‘Abbey and Rachel have both absolutely embraced the challenges through Covid. They have worked their socks off with ward improvements and have had a positive attitude during the toughest of times. The team are always greeted with a smiling face by these two no matter how busy they are.’

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

‘From a medical perspective, Debbie has very much led the division through the pandemic as well as supporting her colleagues as a front-line clinician. Her input was key in the initial stages to manage move to COVID-19 wards, as well as their gradual switch back. Her clinical input into this and creating solutions to problems was vitally important to the divisional team. Moving forward, she continues to support Woodpecker and its teams and remains a very much go to person for the division when concerns or challengers arise.’

inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger said, “We are humbled to be welcoming our amazing NHS Heroes to our first virtual Christmas Light Switch On and look forward to paying tribute to them, 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 the amazing work of all those whom we are dedicating the online event to.”

The event features a variety of pre-recorded performances from ten local acts, hosted by BBC Radio Wiltshire's Ben Prater and Totally Crazy, as well as a special message from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s CEO, Kevin McNamara, followed by a video from staff.

Acts announced so far include Swindon Dance, Phoebe Maddison, Wilkes Academy, Billy & Louie, Jenny Bracey, The Tribe, PQA Swindon, Rock Choir North Wiltshire, Josie Ellis, The Tribe and lastly Fandangos, who will be performing a special fire circus as part of the switch on moment.

Special messages will also be shared from Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Gary Perkins alongside inSwindon BID Manager, Anita Bellinger, and Santa and his Chief Elf for the children at home.

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.

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.

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.

Swindon's first virtual Christmas Light Switch On will pay tribute to the NHS, Emergency Services and Key Workers, as part of Swindon's Illumina 2020.

We are making final preparations for Swindon's very first virtual Christmas Light Switch-On taking place online on Saturday 3rd October, from 6-7pm. The virtual Christmas Light Switch On will launch our new festive campaign for 2020 - Swindon’s Illumina.

We announced the transformation of the traditional Christmas Light Switch-On into a free-to-access live streamed event back in August and confirmed that 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.

Swindon’s first Virtual Christmas Light Switch-On will take place online via our Facebook page, on Saturday 3rd October, from 6pm-7pm and this year will feature an exclusive projection and lighting show which celebrates Swindon as a community and recognises the amazing work of Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, emergency services and keyworkers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will also feature across the show with a special message from CEO, Kevin McNamara and video from staff.

Acting BID Manager, Anita Bellinger said, “To us, paying tribute to the tireless work of our NHS Trust, emergency services and keyworkers is so important this year. The annual Christmas Light Switch On attracts up to 10,000 visitors to the town centre each year. Sadly, due to the social distancing restrictions arising from COVID-19 it can’t go ahead in its usual format. Taking the event online means more people can enjoy the show safely from the comfort of their own homes and experience the Christmas lights and other elements within the campaign at their own leisure, throughout the season.”

The virtual Switch-On will be hosted by BBC Radio Wiltshire’s Ben Prater alongside a fun-loving host from Children’s Entertainers ‘Totally Crazy’ who’ll be bringing the fun for viewers at home with a festive activity for the kids.

We continue to release our line-up of entertainment which so far includes:

Just for Boys, from Swindon Dance, who created a dynamic routine performed throughout the building demonstrating just how contagious dance can be!

Jenny Bracey, with a voice that rocks you, and a guitar to boot, will be preforming a medley of originals and covers in her own style.

Billy & Louie, a local pop-duo who will be appearing later this month on the BBC’s new series ‘Little Mix: The Search’. They have performed at venues up and down the UK, as well as releasing four singles and a Christmas song which they will be performing on the night.

Phoebe Maddison, who has appeared on ITV's The Voice Kids with pop star Pixie Lott and has gone on to receive an esteemed British Citizen Youth Award for her inspirational charity work, as well as winning 'West End Calling', where she performed to her largest audience of 80,000!

PQA Swindon, who have created a special performance with their students aged 3-17years, in support of the event for 2020.

The UK’s freshest Hip Hop Reggae Ska Energy Collective, The Tribe, will be performing some of their original hits for viewers throughout the online event. Their high energy performances saw them through 11 performances over 9 stages at Glastonbury Festival, making them a festival favourite, popular with audiences of all ages.

Anita Bellinger added, “There really is something for everyone and we hope the community will tune in safely with family and friends and enjoy the show, as well as supporting the acts and groups that have come together as part of the event. We still have a few more surprises to reveal, so stay tuned.”

Viewers will also be able to enjoy an exclusive aerial hoop performance from Josie Ellis, who will be performing to a unique version of ‘Carol Of The Bells’, by LOrchesta Cinematique, following a special message from Mayor of Swindon, Cllr Gary Perkins and inSwindon BID.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without that special appearance from Santa and his Chief Elf, Buddy McJingles, who will be sending a very important message this year, as well as teaching an interactive routine to the kids at home that they will be asked to perform with the Hosts, later on in the live show. There is also the chance to win a £50 voucher for The Entertainer, for which details will be announced later this week via our Facebook page and website.

We are also asking viewers to get involved at home by donning their Christmas jumpers, onesies and all, as well as lighting up their homes or sitting rooms to support the event. Viewers will then be asked to send their pictures live on the night via the comments on the Facebook stream, to be in with a chance of winning one of two shopping vouchers of £50 and £100 to spend across the town centre this Christmas.

This year’s Switch-On moment will take place with a group of local NHS Heroes, nominated by The Great Western Hospital’s Foundation NHS Trust, followed by the exclusive lighting and projection show as the Christmas lights illuminate Swindon town centre.

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 our 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.