Manchester City Council has announced that council-organised bonfire night events will not be reintroduced in Manchester Parks this year. The council’s own firework display taking place in Heaton Park will also not be reintroduced this year, following a two-year lay-off during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hosting an array of large-scale events every single year for the community to enjoy, bonfires that usually take place at the likes of Heaton Park, Platt Fields Park, Cringle Park and Debdale Park will not go ahead, with no alternatives planned for this year’s Guy Fawkes Night.
Manchester City Council confirmed the news saying the cancellation of bonfire night events are due to “a combination of factors including the escalating costs of delivering large bonfire events, increasing safety and organisational measures needed and increased pressure on Council budgets”. The Council added that it will assess the impact of this year’s events not going ahead as part of a review into the approach to future bonfire events.
A statement released by the Council today, said: “The Council is reprioritising its neighbourhoods funding to focus on a program of community events and activities throughout the winter focussing on fun, free activities for families and young people. Such events include October’s half-term school holiday activity programme, a fun packed week of sports activities, family events, outdoor adventures and cultural activity to keep youngsters and their families entertained and fulfilled during school holidays.”
Councillor Lee Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods, said: “It is with great reluctance that we’re announcing that council-organised bonfire events will not be taking place this year. Manchester is one of the only major cities that continues to host council-organised firework and bonfire events. Bonfire events haven’t taken place in the city since 2019 and we have decided to hold that position this year. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and I know that many people will be disappointed.
“Nevertheless, due to a combination of factors such as rising costs, pressure on our budgets and, our ambition to be a net zero carbon city by 2038 we will not have Council-organised bonfire events this year. The cost of delivering the event has escalated every year and to host large bonfire events we would have to plug the shortfall by diverting parks funding away from essential park services. Our Neighbourhood teams have been working tirelessly to re-prioritise the budget on community events and supporting our residents through the cost-of-living crisis. As usual, we will be working with partner agencies to help promote safety messages and prevent anti-social behaviour.”