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Page last updated at 09:28 GMT, Tuesday, 21 December 2010
Could Bristol's future charity fireworks events be hit?

Fireworks at Bristol Harbour Festival
Andrew Simmonds worries the council's display will hit charity events

Plans by Bristol City Council to bring back bonfire night fireworks to the Downs could "badly hit charity events".

The claim is being made by Andrew Simmonds, a Great Western Round Table member who organises a charity fireworks display in Downend.

"This is a shocking situation for all charity fireworks events," said Mr Simmonds.

"With the council intending to put on a free display on the Downs next year, all charity displays will be affected by the public wanting to attend a free event rather than pay to attend a charity event.

"I'm sure we - and many other similar charities - will achieve a reduced gate as a result.

"The knock-on effect being a massive reduction in the funds that we can raise to be ploughed back into local causes".

Financial losses

Mr Simmonds' comments came after Bristol City Council announced earlier this month that the annual fireworks event at the Harbour Festival could be moved to the Downs with a free display taking place on 5 November, 2011.

A display on the Downs used to be run by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Clifton and Bristol Round Table.

All proceed went to local causes but the event was stopped in 2008 because of heavy financial losses.

Bristol City Council said it could no longer afford to fund the cost of stewarding for the Harbour Festival display.

Deputy leader, Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Cook, said there would not be as much money for the event.

In 2010, about 50,000 people watched the fireworks which were part of a three-day event attracting 250,000 people in total.

'More sustainable'

"Our headline sponsor dropped out two years ago and they put £100,000-a-year into the Harbour Festival," said Mr Cook.

"That's meant for the past two years we've had to plug it with other funding and what we need to do from now on is to it on a more sustainable basis."

Speaking about Mr Simmonds' comments, Bristol City Council has issued a statement saying:

"We would like to stress that nothing has been decided yet in relation to this and we will be looking to talk to organisers of other similar events.

"We are happy to listen to any concerns they may have and we will certainly not be looking to set ourselves up in competition with charities and other groups holding fireworks displays."

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