April/May/June 2020


Alongside the recent ‘Clap for our Carers’ campaign which started on 26 March, a massive push by the country’s events and entertainment industry saw many landmark buildings across the UK lit up in blue at the same time. As well as buildings there were LED screens of all shapes and sizes, all turning blue with a message of support for our NHS professionals from all over the UK.

The campaign started with an email to Business Improvement Districts all over the country a few days earlier asking for support. The email described a nationwide campaign to support the ‘Clap for our Carers’ event that was scheduled for 8pm on 26 March. Business Improvement Districts (BID zones) were the perfect partner for the campaign as they had a comprehensive list of contacts across the retail, hospitality and events sectors to approach on short notice to bring the campaign to life.

GM Business Connect caught up with Nelson Beaumont-Laurencia, Head of Events & Sponsorship at CityCo / Heart of Manchester BID to find out more about the campaign: “From the moment we received the email we made contact with as many businesses as we could including our Business Improvement District colleagues in property, retail and media across Manchester and Salford. We asked for help to give the campaign and the NHS the support they deserved. It was an incredible sight across Manchester to see the city turned blue on Thursday evening to the sound of everyone clapping the hard workers of our Health Service. The fact that so many Manchester businesses were able at such short notice to turn their building facades, billboards, totems, and external lighting to blue, as well as display the many messages of support, was absolutely a testament to the sense of community of our businesses. Looking at news coverage and social media after the event, Manchester and Salford were very proud to be part of a nationwide campaign that demonstrates our pride in our NHS.”

Businesses lighting-up their buildings included Spinningfields, House of Fraser, Mayfield Depot/U+I, NOMA, Sadlers Yard, Peel Media / MediaCityUK / BBC, Manchester Arndale, Royal Exchange, Bruntwood, Circle Square, Hatch, City Tower, Hotel Football, Holiday Inn, Manchester Central, Piccadilly Place, First Street MCR, Manchester Life, The Halle, Ancoats Cutting Room Square, Canal Street, The Printworks and The Lowry. Media brands already supporting with new-blue identities include Manchester City Council, Manchester Evening News, City Life Manchester, Visit Manchester, The Manc, Manchester’s Finest, Manchester Confidential and I Love Manchester.

The campaign is spearheaded on the rapidly created website www.nhsmakeitblue.org which is currently stating the following information: ‘The #LightItBlue and #MakeItBlue campaigns have been organised by the events and entertainment industry, to salute the brave NHS staff risking their own health to look after others during the Covid-19 pandemic. We’ve been rallying our friends in the industry and inviting them to come on board to #MakeItBlue – following on from the initial campaign.

‘#LightItBlue came to life when the events and entertainment industry found itself, much like the rest of the UK, in an unprecedented state of enforced inaction. We thought the most supportive thing we could all do – apart from staying at home – was to use our skills and networks to say a massive thank you to key workers on the frontline, especially NHS staff, who are risking their own health to care for others. We also feel a huge sense of responsibility for the mental wellbeing of many people within our industry who, having lost their jobs, are feeling anxious and confused about the future. We believe that together, we can galvanise the nation by spreading positivity and support.’

You can join in with this phenomenal support by showing your blue love on social!

And if your company can take part lighting your building over the next few months, please drop CityCo a line: Nelson.Laurencia@cityco.com

Light it blue Arndale Centre
Light it blue Canal Street
Light it blue Event City
Light it blue Holiday Inn
Light it blue Media City
Light it blue One Angel Square
Light it blue Piccadilly
Light it blue Printworks
Light it blue Salford Quays