Coloured lights decorate Bournemouth Lower Gardens © H HAMMER

Coloured lights decorate Bournemouth Lower Gardens © H HAMMER

Lower Gardens in Bournemouth town centre have been transformed into a dazzling festive experience known as the Garden of Lights, in a bid to boost tourism and growth in sales in and around the town centre.

This is the first year of the Garden of Lights, which features Bournemouth’s biggest outdoor ice rink yet, interactive lights pods and a glitzy grotto.

Gregg Dunnett, a Town Centre Bid Manager, anticipates the Garden of Lights will boost Bournemouth’s tourism at Christmas for years to come. “We want to try and make something of the town that shows a bit more than the same old events such as the ice rink,” he said.

The Improvement District wants to make the town a brighter and more attractive place to visit.

A Bournemouth tourism representative said: “We hope to attract more people to Bournemouth at Christmas.”

Bid Manager Gregg said London, Bath and Winchester are currently the ‘go to’ destination for the ultimate Christmas experience but Bournemouth plans to change this.

“We are trying to make Bournemouth the place to be this Christmas. Hopefully it will become well known for its Garden of Lights and joyous celebrations, and help businesses develop” said Gregg. In addition to the Garden of Lights, this year will see the return of the Christmas Market. Gregg is supportive of the Garden’s potential to encourage more vendors to sell their products.

Gregg said: “In order to have the best Christmas market you have to have the best attractions to draw people into the town to sell their products. Currently people take their business to the more renowned Christmas markets such as Bath and Winchester.

“We want people to think of Bournemouth as the best place to experience Christmas, meet Santa, and just have a merry time,” Gregg added.

The Garden of Lights has garnered a lot of attention and the town centre is already very busy. The festivities will run until January 6 2014.