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Countdown to Nocturne switch-on

Date 12 Apr 2007

Nocturne, the biggest light artwork in Britain, will be switched on later this month. Nexus has named Thursday 26 April as the date when the 360m kaleidoscope of lights will illuminate the QEII Metro Bridge across the Tyne.

Millions of people will see Nocturne every year, from Newcastle and Gateshead's quaysides and from surrounding homes, offices, roads and railways, including the east coast mainline. Nocturne will light up Nexus' 'blue bridge' for at least the next 15 years. The lights will never be the same twice, rising and falling in brightness and intensity with the tide on the river below.

Bernard Garner, Director General of Nexus, said: "Nocturne has been a huge task – the biggest art project Nexus has been involved with and easily the most exciting and high profile. "This major capital project has seen us invest in the future of Metro by protecting the bridge from the elements through a new paint scheme, while also creating a new landmark for North East England to stand alongside the world-famous attractions of the quaysides."

Nocturne was made possible by the financial support of the Northern Rock Foundation, Newcastle and Gateshead Councils, the TyneWear Partnership, Arts Council of England North East, Network Rail, CE Electric UK and the Port of Tyne, who met the costs of the artwork. The low-energy LED lights which make up the display consume less power than a domestic dishwasher, and the design means the light is contained within the bridge, causing a minimum of ambient light pollution.

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