Fundraiser fails to pull in cash for good causes

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Latest campaign news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A drastic fall in numbers means no donations will be made to local charities from last year’s Big Night Out firework display.

Normally, the event, which takes place at Long Melford Hall, raises up to £20,000 a year which it gives away to good causes in the area.

This year, for the first time in the event’s 32-year history, profits were so slim there was no money to give away.

Andrew Hagger, president of Project Seven, the organising body for the event, said he was “really disappointed” not to be able to donate money, adding: “That is the whole point of the event.

“I just hope nobody was dependant on the money. We can only donate if we make a profit.”

Mr Hagger said there were numerous factors that led to the drop in visitors.

Poor weather, the date, expensive music licences and the size of the fairground were all mentioned as reasons for the poor turnout.

“We clashed with Scaresville at Kentwell Hall – thousands of people went to that,” said Mr Hagger. “Taking the big fairground rides out lost us about £1,500.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Perhaps we would have done things differently.”

Plans are afoot to try to ensure that the same thing does not happen next year and that charities can once again benefit from the event, though ticket prices will not increase.

Mr Hagger said: “We are going to hold it on November 7 to avoid a clash.

“We will be bringing some big fairgrounds rides back and will provide our own refreshments.”

He added that he thought that many older children had stayed away from the event because there was only smaller rides for younger children.

Usually attracting up to 10,000 people, last year only half that number turned up.

It is hoped that the changes made will pull in the crowds, with at least another 2,000 people needed before costs can be covered.

It was not all bad news, however, as the event’s first sponsored fire walk raised £3,000 for local charities.