TESA, The Event Services Association, has won the Best Tourism Event for the British Firework Championships at The Plymouth Herald City and Waterfront Awards 2016 held in Plymouth. The event, which draws an estimated 200,000 people to the City of Plymouth over two nights each August has been held in the city for 20 years and is a firm favourite for the people of the city and visitors alike. Hotels, guest houses and campsites report huge occupancy rates during the period and restaurants and bars combine to provide an amazing experience for visitors.
The shortlist for the Best Tourism Event (with more than 5,000 people) included MTV Crashes Flavour Fest, British Firework Championships and Armed Forces Day. More than 66,000 votes were received for the awards and Jim Winship, TESA Director, said: “This is a truly great achievement for our team and we’re delighted to have received it. We’re especially thankful to the team at Plymouth City Council for their support over the year and of course, the great people who live in a visit Plymouth.
“Events such as this make a significant contribution to the local area and are a fantastic model for other towns and cities across the UK. Hosting events creates a ripple effect benefitting businesses, communities and the local authority repaying investment many times over. In our work with the Events Industry Forum and with Government departments, we are always eager to make the case that events are a fantastic tool for regeneration and boosting growth.”
The event this year was won by GALA Fireworks. Gala's Danny Edwards said: "[It feels] Amazing, we've put so much hard work into it, it means so much to win. I'm really jubilant right now, I can't quite believe it. I think there's going to be a few beers consumed in the hotel tonight. If they [the team] don't, then I'm going to.
"I've been coming here for ten years as a spectator. I've always loved fireworks. I started Gala Fireworks five years ago and all the time I've been coming here I've said to myself "one day I want to be on the breakwater, firing a show" so even just to be here is amazing but to take first place - it's not quite sunk in yet."
In all, the British Firework Championships brings an estimated 200,000 people into the city for the two day extravaganza, a major boost to the local economy. Being a curved and high seafront, Plymouth's a natural amphitheatre for spectators and the Mountbatten sea wall a few hundred yards off-shore provides a brilliant, safe firing site.