Danson Park Fireworks display may stop running due to 'rising costs' of event
PUBLISHED: 10:17 08 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:27 08 November 2017
Thousands attended this year's event on Saturday
Danson Park’s tradition of a Guy Fawkes’ Night firework display is under threat to rising costs, organisers have said.
Around 15,000 people are thought to have visited the park on Saturday for this year’s display, with a breathtaking video capturing the spectacle from above.
But organisers at Welling Round Table are concerned for the event’s future, after forking out £40,000 to put together the event, with all profits raised going straight to charity.
Louis Dean organised the event for the first time this year.
He said: “There’s a lot of hard work that goes in to each event, we wouldn’t be able to do it without volunteers, but with rising costs, it is getting more difficult to put on.
“We know we’ll be able to put it on again next year, but if prices keep going up, then we might have to bring an end to it.
“It’s not just the cost of hiring Danson Park from the council, we also have to pay for a music licence and things like parking notices ahead of the event.
“A lot of people think the council runs this event, that’s not the case. The round table organises it and at the end of the day we then decide what charities and projects the profits go to.
“We have other events in the year, we put on a beer festival which is cheaper to run and still very successful, in the future we might consider putting two on, one in the summer and one in October, and maybe stopping the fireworks.
“I don’t want to see it happen, these fireworks have been going for 45 years. This was my first year organising it and I think it’s been one of the best displays in years.
“It’s been a stressful year putting it together, but when I saw the smiles on people’s faces you realise it was worth it.”
A spokesperson from Bexley council said: “All charges are reviewed annually and compared against those set by other London boroughs. A number of factors influence what is charged and reflect the time and the area of the park used. Different rates are applied for non-fund raising, fund raising and commercial events. Individuals and organisations based in the borough running a non-funding or a fund raising event receive a 20 per cent discount.
“The safety of those attending the event is also a concern which is why adequate traffic control and parking notices on the roads surrounding the park are put in place. There is a small charge for the cost of arranging this, however, as a charitable event these charges are discounted by 50 per cent.
“The council is not involved in with music licences and if applicable, are dealt with by the Performing Rights Society and the Phonographic Performance License.
“We congratulate Welling Round Table, who we have worked closely with over many years, on their successful annual event which has now one of the largest firework displays in the south east.
“This is a significant event that takes a number of days before and after the event to build up and take down. It involved the closure of the south of the park from midnight on Friday November 3 and the whole of Danson Park from 2pm on Saturday November 4.”