Chorley’s festive Big Wheel has “broken even” after more than 12,000 people enjoyed a birds’ eye view of the borough and beyond.
Chorley Council, supported by traders, paid a flat £32,000 fee for the wheel to be operated, however ticket sales made £30,367 and £5,000 was raised in sponsorship.
A total of 12,424 people went on the ride in the 22 days it was open with the wheel dominating the skyline for three weeks over the Christmas and New Year period.
However, the location of the wheel meant 27 car parking spaces were lost for the festive period on the Flat Iron .
The ride also broke down due to a hydraulic fault on the Saturday between Christmas and New Year, with those on the ride stranded in rainy conditions for more than 30 minutes.
Councillor Peter Wilson, deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “We thought the big wheel would be a great Christmas attraction and we’ve been proved right.
“Yes it cost a lot of money to bring it to town, just over £30,000, but with so many people going on it, and the sponsorship we got, it has pretty much broken even, which is brilliant.
“The wheel has certainly been the talk of the town with by far the majority really positive about it and it has created a really good atmosphere in the town centre, giving a real buzz to the place.”
Town centre trader Malcolm Allen, who is chair of the Chorley Traders’ Alliance, said: “We were behind the wheel 100 per cent because we thought we needed an attraction to bring people into town this Christmas, and we were right. I’ve had people from Wigan and Bolton, as well as people from Chorley, coming into my shop who came here because of the Big Wheel, then stayed to shop.
“Also, it was on the right site, it looked really impressive from such a distance, particularly when it was lit up and the prices were right because people went on it.”
The ride was brought to Chorley town centre by Chorley Council, with sponsorship from Market Walk, Runshaw College, RSM Tenon, Stagecoach, Poppy Signs, Haslam Printers, Chorley Football Club, Active Nation, Skewers, Cheeky Monkey’s Play and Party Centre, GDW Engineering and Arco.