York & North Yorkshire

York fireworks display could be broadcast on Chinese TV

A Chinese firework display Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Chinese city of Changsha has offered £200,000 to York

A proposed £300,000 firework display in York could be broadcast on Chinese state television.

The Chinese city of Changsha has offered £200,000 towards a display, according to York City Council.

It would require York to contribute £100,000 plus the staging costs and the council is going to carry out a feasibility study.

Both York and Changsha are UNESCO Cities of Media Arts and the Chinese city is famous for producing fireworks.

Image copyright Trevor Gibbons
Image caption Chinese visitors to York like "quintessentially English things", said Make it York

Councillor Nigel Ayre said at a recent council meeting that as part of any deal the event would be shown on Chinese television and could attract investors and tourists to York.

Mr Ayre said: "It's a great opportunity, it's something that will be nationally and internationally significant."

It is thought and display could take place at the site of the former York Castle, where the rivers Ouse and Foss meet. However no date for the event has been announced.

Fireworks facts

  • The birth of fireworks can be traced back to 7th Century China although primitive firecrackers may have an even longer history in the country
  • Bonfire Night in the UK on 5 November is celebrated with fireworks and is the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 - an attempt to blow up the houses of Parliament
  • Guy Fawkes, from York, was one of the main plotters and was killed in 1606 by being hung, drawn and quartered
  • During World War I and World War II, no one was allowed to set off fireworks or light bonfires.

Source BBC, History of York

Kay Hyde, of tourist organisation Make it York, said: "About 10 years ago Chinese visitors did not make it into the top 10 of international visitors to the city.

"Now China is second in the list, only behind the USA. Tourism from the country has grown rapidly."

Changsha is the capital of Hunan province and has almost eight million inhabitants.

It has been a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network since 2017, while York joined in 2014.

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