Newton Aycliffe fireworks display cancelled due to popularity

image captionThe annual fireworks display has been held for about 30 years

A fireworks display in Newton Aycliffe has been cancelled after a "significant" increase in visitors raised "serious" safety concerns.

Safety officers advised Great Aycliffe Town Council to cancel the event after it became "too large" to manage.

Popularity of the event at Oakleaf Leisure Centre rose after nearby displays in the county were cancelled.

The council said this year's display will not take place, but it hopes to find a way to hold the event in 2014.

Organisers feared they were unable to "safely manage" the display after the event in November 2012.

A meeting was held with the County Durham Safety Advisory Group (SAG), which raised issues about controlling numbers, access in the event of an emergency and traffic management.

Leader of the council, Councillor Bob Fleming, said the authority only has insurance for 8,000 people and the number of visitors could now be anything up to 16,000.

The decision to cancel the event, which has been held for about 30 years, was made at a council meeting on Thursday.

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