"AN EVEN bigger event" has been promised for Salisbury's Lantern and Lights Procession as new sponsors are unveiled – as well as a prize for the best lantern.

Tech company Openreach, the firm behind making the city the first in the country with full fibre broadband, has partnered with Salisbury Business Improvement District (BID) and Salisbury City Council to bring the December 12 event to the city once again this year.

As well as this, bosses have put together a tech bundle worth £500 for the best lantern at next month's event, which will take place from 5.45pm.

James Tappenden, fibre first director at Openreach, said: “We’re building a full fibre network to give the whole city access to some of the best, most reliable broadband in the UK.

"Our fibre optic cables transmit data using light signals – so we thought it would be fitting to help ‘light up’ the city in another way by supporting the Lantern & Lights Procession. And, of course, it’s another great way for us to connect with people who live and work in this fantastic city.”

Salisbury-based Openreach engineers will also be taking an active part in this year’s parade – with their own fibre broadband themed giant lantern creation.

Mr Tappenden added: “We’ll have our own Openreach-themed lantern in the procession this year and I can’t wait to see all the other brilliant entries. I’m really looking forward to awarding the best one with a bunch of technology that will help them make the most of the new network we’re building here.”

Kara Rogers, marketing and communications manager at Salisbury BID said: “The Lantern and Lights Procession is always a highlight in Salisbury’s Christmas event calendar, and we welcome Openreach’s sponsorship which has enabled the BID and City Council to put on an even bigger event.

“We recognise Openreach’s significant investment into Salisbury with their full fibre broadband technology, which will boost the city’s businesses and the economy, and we’re grateful Openreach is also ‘lighting up’ the city by sponsoring this community event.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming lots of people to Salisbury to enjoy the city’s much-loved Lantern and Lights Procession.”

Locals are also invited to a lantern-making workshop being held at Salisbury Guildhall from 10am to 3pm on November 30.