Light fantastic at show cavern

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NEW technology at Buxton’s Poole’s Cavern will help save around 80 per cent in electricity costs for the popular Civic Association-owned tourist attraction.

As well as installing new lighting, the walkway through the cave has also been paved with stone making access easier and safer for the thousands of people who visit each year.

“Poole’s Cavern is the first show cave in the country to explore the possibilities of lighting these vast underground spaces using the LED system in place of the old tungsten lighting,” said general manager Alan Walker.

“And it will be fully operational in time for the Easter weekend.”

Buxton Civic Association chairman Paul Dinsdale added: “This major investment has been made possible mainly by the generosity of grants from the Derbyshire Aggregates Levy Grants Scheme and the Lafarge Aggregates Ltd Landfill Communities Fund as well as by the dedication of general manager Alan Walker, his team and the professional contractors employed to do the paving and the design and installation of the LED system.”

Apart from the savings in energy and expense, the main benefits of the system are the flexibility to mix of white and coloured lighting effects which can be used to create different moods and atmospheres to enhance a wide variety of occasions.

The lights are now programmable via a laptop computer so that they can be sequenced with sensors which turn them on as visitors approach and fade them out as they pass by. “Together with the improvements in access for all, the health and safety benefits and the impressive cost savings, it is fair to say that we are starting a new era in the history of the cavern,” Mr Dinsdale added.