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Changes made ahead of Long Melford’s Big Night Out firework display on Friday, November 7

17:48 28 October 2014

Big Night Out, Long Melford  - 2012

Big Night Out, Long Melford - 2012

The group behind of one of Suffolk’s most high profile fireworks displays is making sweeping changes to the event this year in a bid to raise more money for the local charities it supports.

Big Night Out bonfire and fireworks display at Melford Hall 

Park, Long Melford - 2013Big Night Out bonfire and fireworks display at Melford Hall Park, Long Melford - 2013

Last year for the first time in the 45 year history of Long Melford’s Big Night Out, organisers Project Seven were unable to donate to local charities due to rising costs and a drop in attendance.

Set in the grounds of historic Long Melford Hall, the display is usually watched by around 10,000 people and raises up to £20,000 annually. But last November’s Big Night Out attracted just 5,000 people and only managed to break even.

Andrew Hagger, president of Project Seven, blamed a number of factors including bad weather, expensive music licences and a reduced offering of fairground rides. He hopes a number of changes this year will revive the event and take it back to the “family occasion” it was designed to be. He said: “Last year, numbers were way down – our outlet in Halstead for example only sold just £80 worth of tickets where they normally sell more than £1,000.

“Last year, we weren’t able to donate to charities that help us. By doing our own refreshments this year we could make up to £3,000 – and save £1,700 on the music licence by not having music to accompany the fireworks.

“We’ve also secured four additional sponsors paying £250 each so that will be another £1,000.”

According to Mr Hagger, there is still an £11,500 budget for the fireworks so the display will be as impressive as usual. The Big Night Out is on Friday, November 7 from 6pm.

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