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Will London see in 2021 with the usual fireworks display?

London SE1 website team

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says that his officials are "working through the available options" before making a final decision on whether to hold the usual New Year fireworks display centred on the London Eye to see in 2021.

Will London see in 2021 with the usual fireworks display?

The COVID-19 crisis means that the idea of a late night event with 100,000 people in a confined space seems unlikely to be permitted on public health grounds, and with City Hall's finances left in tatters the idea of spending money on the fireworks display is certain to be questioned.

Lib Dem London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon tabled a question to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan asking when he would make a decision as to whether the Greater London Authority should allocate any resources to the organising of New Year's Eve fireworks this year.

Mr Khan replied: "In line with following the government guidelines, we are currently looking at what considerations need to be made with regards marking New Year in London and working through the available options.

"We will be looking to make a decision later in the summer."

Last year's event had a budget of £3.4 million, with £2.3 million coming from the public purse and the remainder from ticket sales, sponsorship and catering concessions.

The pyrotechnics represent a small part of the overall budget, with crowd control making up a big proportion of the costs.

When the New Year fireworks display was launched in 2003 under Ken Livingstone' mayoralty, it was envisaged as an event primarily intended to be enjoyed on television, with spectators discouraged.

A decade later the crowds had grown year on year to reach 500,000, so Boris Johnson introduced a ticketing system in 2014 to restrict the numbers.

The GLA has previously claimed that the event offers "a multi-million-pound boost to the capital's visitor economy" thanks to the additional spending on food and accommodation by those attending the fireworks, in addition to the international news coverage generated.

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