Littlehampton Bonfire event 'at huge risk of permanent conclusion'

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Organisers of the Littlehampton Bonfire event fear the historic celebration is 'at huge risk of permanent conclusion'.

The ​Littlehampton Bonfire Society (LBS) was handed £7,500 by Littlehampton Town Council last year – but no funding will be received this year.

The society had to cancel last year’s event at the end of October due to bad weather. This meant no street collections could take place but the society still had to pay for costs that had already been committed to.

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Sue Baker, press officer, said at the time: “This cancellation caused a massive financial loss to the society that they are genuinely unsure they will be able to survive.”

The bonfire had to be burned without the public there last year, after the full event had to be cancelled due to a storm. Picture: Littlehampton Bonfire SocietyThe bonfire had to be burned without the public there last year, after the full event had to be cancelled due to a storm. Picture: Littlehampton Bonfire Society
The bonfire had to be burned without the public there last year, after the full event had to be cancelled due to a storm. Picture: Littlehampton Bonfire Society

A petition has now been launched, by the society’s chief Barry Bastable, urging the town council to continue its support. Click here to sign the petition.

Mr Bastable wrote: "The Littlehampton Bonfire Society has been in existence since 1952 and has been holding a traditional Sussex bonfire event since 1953.

"This cherished event provides the town with a free celebration for all to enjoy during a rather dull time of the year, generating business and attracting visitors from far and wide.

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“Without the support of the Community Resources Committee at Littlehampton Town Council, our future events are at huge risk of permanent conclusion.

A new route map has been produced due to the seafront regeneration project scheduled for this year. Photo: Littlehampton Bonfire SocietyA new route map has been produced due to the seafront regeneration project scheduled for this year. Photo: Littlehampton Bonfire Society
A new route map has been produced due to the seafront regeneration project scheduled for this year. Photo: Littlehampton Bonfire Society

"We urge you to reconsider your position on supporting one of the biggest events within the Arun District. Please sign this petition to help keep this beloved tradition alive!”

A Littlehampton Town Council spokesperson told the BBC that it cannot grant money to all the community organisations in need due to the ‘finite pot of money’ available.

The annual bonfire event is extremely popular and brings people from far and wide to join the celebration. It is a local tradition with a 72-year history.

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Up to 20,000 people attend the annual event – which is currently planned to go ahead this year.

However, a new route map has been produced due to the seafront regeneration project scheduled for this year. This may not be completed by October 26 – the date for this years Littlehampton Bonfire Society torchlight parade, bonfire and fireworks.

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