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Carlisle Fireworks 08 - 12

The annual event in Bitts Park on the Saturday nearest November 5 attracts an estimated 35,000 people making it the city’s largest spectator event by some distance.

But with the city council laying off staff and grappling with a £1.1m cut in a grant from central government, there had been fears that it might be sacrificed.

Mr Mitchelson has moved to quell such speculation, just as the council’s ruling executive was due to meet today to thrash out budget cuts for 2011-12.

He said: “I want to assure people that the fireshow will continue in its current form in Bitts Park. It is the major event that the city council puts on and has been acclaimed nationally.

“Some people have questioned why we’re staging it when times are hard.

“But it’s an event for our community and attracts visitors to Carlisle in large numbers. We’re also providing a safe environment for people to enjoy fireworks and a bonfire.”

It costs the council around £50,000 to stage the fire show, although £14,000 is recovered in sponsorship, concessions and donations.

Roughly half the money goes on the bonfire and fireworks. The rest covers road closures, stewarding – more than 70 staff are involved – health and safety, a PA system, first aid, medical cover, licenses, plant hire, lighting, fencing, publicity, signage and toilets.

The council says the net cost is less than 45p for every resident of the city.

It also points to opinion surveys carried out on its behalf that show the fireshow is rated highly by the public.

Collections at the fireshow raise around £7,000 for the Mayor of Carlisle’s charity fund.

This year’s event will be on Saturday, November 5th.

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