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Boris: New Year fireworks to remain at London Eye for three years

The London Eye and the South Bank will remain the focus of the capital's New Year celebrations for another three years, the Mayor has confirmed.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson this week approved plans to fund the annual firework display at midnight on 1 January for a further three years.

Faced with mounting costs for security and stewarding, City Hall officials considered scaling back the event or holding a ticketed celebration of the New Year but eventually concluded that the current free open-access event at the current location was the best option.

The Greater London Authority claims that 250,000 people gather to watch the fireworks in designated viewing areas between Lambeth and Blackfriars bridges, with a further 300,000 people assembling in the area.

City Hall estimates that the event provides a 30 million boost to the London economy with 74 per cent of the audience coming from outside London and more than half spending more than 200 during their visit.

The Mayor hopes that by confirming the arrangements for the next three years he will be able to secure better commercial deals.

Last year Boris Johnson was forced to spend an extra 550,000 on the event at short notice – pushing the total budget to 2 million – when a major sponsor withdrew their support.

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