Nottingham Bonfire Night and fireworks display cancelled over spiralling costs

Nottingham’s annual Bonfire Night and fireworks display has been cancelled for the fourth year in a row due to spiralling costs.
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Nottingham City Council said it had “reluctantly” made the decision to cancel the event, which was set to take place at the Forest Recreation Ground on November 5.

The authority said the costs of running the display have doubled since 2019.

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Events in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled due to Covid restrictions, with last year’s display also not going ahead due to increased costs.

Nottingham City Council has cancelled the free fireworks display due to increased costs. (Photo: Getty)Nottingham City Council has cancelled the free fireworks display due to increased costs. (Photo: Getty)
Nottingham City Council has cancelled the free fireworks display due to increased costs. (Photo: Getty)

The free Bonfire Night event was set to cost the council and Mellors Group, which would have funded a third of the fee, around £60,000, an increase from £30,000 in 2019, the authority said.

The city council is under increasing scrutiny over the management of its finances.

Auditors have said they are “very concerned” after it was found millions of pounds, estimated to be around £51m, that should have been ringfenced for council housing and tenants was instead transferred to the authority’s general fund.

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As councils across the country face increasing budget pressures, many other authorities have previously cancelled Bonfire Night and Christmas events, including Manchester, Leeds and Cardiff.

‘Very difficult’

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonsi, the city council’s portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: “We did not want to have to take this decision, but with increasing financial pressures in a very difficult current economic climate, we were left with no choice.

“We understand that this will be a big disappointment to families across Nottingham who look forward each year to a firework celebration at the Forest Recreation Ground, but we have a responsibility with budgets so tight to justify every pound that’s spent.”

The council said it looked at several alternative funding options, including charging for car parking, but claimed none would have raised the required income.

Instead, the authority will continue to look for sponsorship opportunities to support its events programme in the future.