A LANCASHIRE attraction which draws in tens of thousands of tourists a year is to be extended in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Blackpool Illuminations are to stay lit for an extra two months to boost tourism which has been hit by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The resort's annual switch-on celebration in September will take place away from the public for the first time in more than 70 years and be replaced by a televised closed event filmed inside the Tower Ballroom.

Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for tourism and culture at Blackpool Council, said: "The annual switch-on event is the biggest night in Blackpool's events calendar. Sadly, it is simply not possible to stage an event of that scale given the current restrictions around social distancing and mass gatherings.

"We are very much aware of how much our tourism businesses are suffering as a result of the pandemic and we hope that, by extending the Blackpool Illuminations season by two months, it will give them an opportunity to bring in some additional trade."

The extended Illuminations season will run from September 4 to January 3 2021.