Future of Oswestry's Bonfire Night celebrations up in the air with location to be decided
The future of Oswestry's Bonfire Night celebrations will come under the spotlight on Wednesday.
For three decades the town's popular fireworks event has been held at Brogyntyn Park behind the fire station but it could move to Cae Glas Park in future.
Started by retained and retired firefighters group the Treble Niners and supported by the town council, it was taken over by the Rotary Club when the Treble Niners stood down.
But it had to be cancelled last year amid risk assessment concerns about the site having only one exit and entry point.
The TNS football club stepped in to enable the fireworks to be held at their ground in Park Hall just outside the town.
Now Oswestry Town Council has published a report on how to go forward for 2023. A report says it could cost up to £10,000 to stage.
Markets and events officer David Clough will tell councillors on Wednesday that an attempt had been made to add another exit to Brogyntyn; however, this was unsuccessful. consequently ruling out Brogyntyn as an appropriate venue. This has been agreed by officers and partners from the Rotary Club.
Mr Clough said that following advice from the firework provider a number of possible Oswestry locations have been ruled out; however due to its good accessibility and infrastructure, Cae Glas Park has been identified as a potentially favourable location.
"Whilst a bonfire may not be possible, the firework provider has confirmed that the site has adequate space for a safe launch site and, as an added attraction, all the trees in the park can be illuminated in various colours."
"Given the town centre location the proposal is to use quieter fireworks as an alternative to the more traditional noisy option and, ideally choreographed to music from a PA system.
"The vision is for a family friendly fireworks evening, with some entertainment and some refreshments. However as with most events, officers are mindful of the need to fully consider logistical issues."
Mr Clough said the event would be pay-on-entry with all gates (entry and exit) managed by Oswestry Borderland Rotary.
"Additionally, a professional security firm will be employed to assist in this management and provide adequate first aid cover in line with the Purple Guide. Additional lighting, temporary toilets, a PA system, and waste management will also be required to hold the event and there will be some budget needed for entertainment."
"The park has a capacity limit of 9,000 people, but we anticipate on past evidence to attract in the region of 4,000 visitors."
Because of the extra costs in putting on the event councillors are being asked to decide how to fund the event. In the past thousands of pounds have been raised for local good causes.
"As with Brogyntyn Park, Cae Glas Park is also surrounded by residential housing and noisy fireworks may be criticised," Mr Clough said.
"Councillors will have to decide what proportion of ticket sales are made available to charity.
"Members need to be mindful that this proposal is likely to attract heavy criticism; however, the option, as presented, provides the only feasible option for the 2023 firework evening."