Southend BID propose 10 seafront firework displays this Autumn.
Each year Southend BID host firework displays along the town’s iconic seafront. Last year, this was unfortunately not possible due to stringent Covid-19 guidelines. However, as these restrictions have now eased, Southend BID are planning to bring their renowned events back with a bang. They have applied for 10 potential firework displays (more than during any other year) to run from Saturday 2nd October – Saturday 4th December, allowing local businesses to benefit from the increased footfall that accompanies Southend’s popular firework celebrations.
Towards the latter end of 2020, government restrictions made it impossible to safely host Southend’s renowned fireworks in accordance with all relevant safety protocols; the event was put on hold, with Cllr Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism at the time, saying: “Due to the size and popularity of the fireworks and the crowds it attracts, coupled with the inability to manage the site as it is open to the public, it has unfortunately not been possible to find a way for the event to take place safely and responsibly.” As a result, Southend BID had no option but to cancel. Thankfully, however, the current lessening of restrictions has made Southend’s 2021 firework displays a possibility once again.
Southend BID recognise that local businesses have struggled over the last year and know that the local community values Southend’s fireworks immensely. Therefore, their proposal of ten firework displays, which is an additional three on top of the seven that are normally put on, promises to amplify interest in these events and extend the season, bringing more visitors to Southend’s seafront at a critical time in local businesses’ recovery. Southend BID’s ability to host additional events is thanks to the Government Welcome Back Fund; with this allocation, they are able to invest more heavily in the town’s beloved fireworks. Meanwhile, the fireworks themselves are supplied by Dynamic Fireworks, a local business who sponsor and contribute to these events. These displays are a collaborative effort, bringing the entire community together.
Discussing the importance of Southend’s firework displays and Southend BID’s determination to host an unprecedented number in 2021, Suzanne Gloyne, Southend BID Manager, says:
“2020 was an incredibly difficult year for us all, our lives as we knew them changed completely and the events we’d all come to love temporarily became a thing of the past – including Southend’s firework displays. We know how much the community values our annual fireworks and were saddened they couldn’t go ahead.
Now that restrictions have eased, we’ll be safely hosting these events that’ll bring more visitors to our town, supporting businesses’ recovery post-pandemic. Similarly, we’re eager to host fun, uplifting events for members of the local community who have struggled throughout the pandemic. As Southend’s firework displays are so popular, this was naturally something we wanted to focus on. We’re hopeful our proposal will soon be approved following a Safety Advisory Group meeting, allowing us to move forward with these exciting plans as soon as possible.”
Southend BID are currently awaiting approval of their application from Southend Borough Council following a Safety Advisory Group meeting next month, at which time confirmation will be shared with the public. In the meantime, they would like to assure every resident and local business that Southend BID remains committed to supporting the Southend community and its slow return to normality.
- The proposed fireworks will be fired from a barge in the Thames, supplied by local business Mike’s Boatyard.
- All proposed firework events will be run in accordance with official government guidelines and an official response to Southend BID’s application is expected to be received next month.
- The additional three displays have been enabled by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.