Derby

Call for World Cup matches on Derby's big screen

Image caption The council said it had looked into costs and safety issues

Four thousand people have signed a petition for World Cup matches to be shown on the Big Screen in Derby's Market Place.

The city council decided against showing England's matches after talking to police and local businesses.

The local authority said it would cost too much to provide security for the event and police have said the proximity to city pubs was a factor.

But campaigner Tom Fulep said the venue would provide a great atmosphere.

He said: "The atmosphere in a big open space with the big screen is the closest we're going to get to actually being there. I think that's what people were looking forward to more than anything."

'National austerity'

In a statement, Derby City Council said: "We have looked into the costs and logistics of safely hosting the screenings on the Market Place.

"As people have many other options of where to watch the matches and because of the high costs involved, particularly at a time of national austerity when we are all looking to make savings and efficiencies we have, in keeping with most other councils which host a big screen decided that it is not feasible to screen the matches."

The spokesperson added the big screen would be showing this summer's Wimbledon matches with a special finals weekend with part of the Market Place grassed over.

Divisional Commander Andy Hough from Derbyshire Police said: "I have recommended that they don't show the England matches and that a more suitable venue would be somewhere like Pride Park, if the Derby County FC agrees or even in a park away from the city centre, where there are no pubs and control of an alcohol-free event would be easier to manage."

The petition was due to be handed in on Friday afternoon.

The big screen is joint-owned by the BBC, Derby City Council and the University of Derby.

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