Southport arcade transformed by ‘tunnel of lights’

Historic Cambridge Arcade in Southport turned into tunnel of sparkling lights as part of £400,000 to support local businesses inside as part of wider £400,000 project. Andrew Brown reports

Cambridge Arcade
Historic Cambridge Arcade in Southport has been turned into a tunnel of sparkling lights


Local lighting experts IllumiDex UK Ltd have installed a 1km of lights in the Victorian Cambridge Arcade in Southport.

Built in the 1870s, the well-known landmark connects Lord Street with Chapel Street. IllumiDex was contracted to carry out the work by Quadriga Contracts.

Quadriga has erected scaffolding inside the area as it carries out a £400,000 restoration project on Southport Town Hall and the section of Cambridge Arcade adjacent to it on behalf of Sefton Council. The work is expected to continue until March 2024.

IllumiDex managing director Steve Clayton added: “We worked over three days to install 100 sets of lights inside Cambridge Arcade. There is 1km of lights inside there now, inside the tunnel and the little square next to it.

“The lights are in the section of the arcade where the scaffolding is, adjacent to the restoration work being carried out at Southport Town Hall. We have had superb feedback from people who saw the lights going up as we were working.

“They were saying it looks beautiful inside there now, and how it’s made such a positive difference. When you stand at one end of the arcade and look down, it looks fantastic. We’ve created a tunnel of lights.

“Every fifth light twinkles so it has a really sparkling look to it. When you compare the arcade now with how it looked before, with all the scaffolding and how it looked so dark, the lights have made such a difference.

“It will hopefully attract a lot more people to walk down there. We lost count of the number of times people came up to us saying ‘is it Christmas already?’

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“But these lights will be there for as long as the restoration work by Quadriga is taking place in the arcade, to let people know that all the local businesses inside are very much open. We have had lots of positive comments from the traders inside too.”

IllumiDex UK is growing from strength to strength, after expanding into new purpose-built 4,500 sq ft premises in Burscough in West Lancashire earlier this year.


Chapel Street, Southport
Lights were installed in Chapel Street in Southport in 2020. Picture by Andrew Brown Media


The family-run firm is enjoying a glowing reputation after being founded by husband and wife Steve and Jan Clayton.

They created the spectacular ‘boulevard of light’ along the mile-long Lord Street in Southport town centre, installing 300,000 lights in a scheme contracted by Southport BID.

The eye-catching project, part of Southport’s extensive regeneration plans, involved the removal of 30,000 metres of failed tree lights and the installation of 30,000 metres of newly designed high specification lights within 80 trees across both sides of the road in 2020.

This article first appeared in Stand Up For Southport

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