A DARWEN lighting firm that provides Christmas illuminations to shopping centres across the UK has added two new schemes to its portfolio this festive season.

MK Illuminations in Watery Lane already lights up town centre schemes in Manchester andKidderminster, as well as shopping centres in Leeds, Wakefield, Morpeth, Burnley and Bicester Village.

This year, the company has been signed up to provide a new scheme at Gloucester Quays and the Great Northern in Manchester.

Last year the firm, which employs 10 people, was the first in its industry to release an organic range of motifs, constructed using a sustainable material that is 100 per cent biodegradable, waterproof and UV resistant.

Taking inspiration from the success of this range, this year the company has launched a new Low Ceiling range of motifs for 2012 which have been constructed specifically for shopping centres with restricted hanging spaces.

Sales director Paul Dove said the festive lighting industry had seen signs of growth and increasing demand.

He said: “With more focus given to Christmas, despite the recession, shopping centres and town authorities are still setting aside budgets for decorative lighting displays, and much more emphasis is now being placed on the design of the schemes to ensure the scheme adds real value to retailers.

“Things have definitely changed in the festive lighting sector.

“Whereas a few years ago we would perhaps dictate what motifs and lights would work best for the centre’s architecture, we’re now seeing marketing teams and management firms approaching us with their own ideas.

“Subsequently a lot of our motifs are now designed specifically for the customer.”

MK is part of the MK Illumination Group, which has its headquarters in Innsbruck, Austria, and operates in 23 international subsidiaries worldwide.