New festoon lighting at Princess Gardens has been unveiled.  

Officially switched on by Councillor Terry Manning, The Worshipful the Mayor of Torbay on Friday 13 August, the illuminations mark the completion of the upgrades to Princess Gardens.  

The improved illuminations which run from the Pavilion to Corbyn Head and along Princess Pier offer more creative lighting all year-round and are digitally controlled using the latest pixel control software Madrix.  

As part of the upgrade, all old faulty festoon lighting systems, wiring and fittings were removed and replaced with stainless-steel wire and fittings for longevity and safety. In addition, all lamps were replaced with LED RGB fixtures with full colour correction from Danish specialist LED manufacture Develtron. The new fixtures do not only increase lighting levels but reduce overall power consumption.  

The new upgraded festoon lighting can emulate the previous traditional effect, but at the click of a switch can make it more modern. Not only that, if there is an issue with any of the ‘Pixels’, the system will send a report via email informing the user of the problem and the exact location. This technology is the first of its kind for this type of system, but standard practice on large building illuminations.  

Made possible following accelerated funding from the Town’s Fund for Torquay’s Town Deal and additional investment from Torbay Council which allowed for the illuminations to be replaced along Torre Abbey Sands. This is one of three projects that have been fast-tracked to help revitalise the town centre and surrounding areas.  

It was announced in October 2020 that Torquay secured £21.9million from the Towns Fund, with accelerated funding of £750,000 being received to deliver three projects at pace as part of the first phase of the Town Investment Plan. Princess Gardens, Royal Terrace Gardens and Upton Park (formally opened on 26 June) were announced as the first projects to benefit from the funding.  

The installation was completed by local company Future Technical Solutions following a demonstration and visualisation to the council.  

Councillor Swithin Long, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration, Tourism and Housing, Torbay Council, said; “Through the Town Investment Plan we are creating spaces that not only offer a better experience for users, but places where people enjoy spending their time. The recent enhancements now offer more opportunity for people to connect all year round with the harbour and seafront areas, visit different locations and offer a boost to the night-time economy.” 

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture for Torbay Council, said; “I’d like to say thank you to Future Technical Solutions for their work, we know it meant a lot of early mornings for the team to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum during the installation. Through a shared creative vision, the new illuminations not only look fantastic but owing to the latest digital technology the lights can be programmed to offer more of a light show experience for people as they walk through the area.” 

Vince Flower, Chairman of the Town Board, said; “Each project within Torquay’s Town Investment Plan will drive forward a better experience in the town centre and surrounding area, providing a better mix of uses and creating a place where people enjoy spending their time. The enhancements to Princess Gardens are one of three projects being completed during the first phase of the Town Investment Plan. The Town Board is excited to see its ambitious plan to revitalise and regenerate the town start to take shape.” 

Paignton seafront is next in line to receive new and enhanced illuminations, following a £50k commitment from Torbay Council in the 2021/22 budget. Work is already underway with the installation due to be completed in the coming weeks.    

This is an exciting time for Torbay with a range of multi-million pound projects coming online to make spaces where people can thrive. These include £21.9m for Torquay Towns Fund, plus £13.36m for the Future High Street Fund for Paignton. 

This is in addition to a new ‘Torquay Gateway’ train station for the Edginswell area, with £7.8m awarded from Network Rail and Department for Transport for its development. There are also plans to enhance Brixham in line with the Brixham Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan, with key areas earmarked including Harbour regeneration and Brixham Town Centre car park redevelopment.

Learn more about Torbay’s regeneration plans here

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