Another West Sussex bonfire event has been cancelled ‘due to rising costs’

Shoreham Bonfire in 2012. Picture: Mark Hilton
Shoreham Bonfire in 2012. Picture: Mark Hilton

A second West Sussex bonfire event has been cancelled due to rising costs in recent days.

In a statement, the Shoreham Bonfire Society announced that it would be closing 'with immediate effect', meaning the family bonfire and fireworks would no longer take place.

Event founder Jonathan Marshall said: “We are very sad to make this announcement but with costs spiralling, on everything from equipment to insurance, we know it is the right decision for all involved.

"It has been a real pleasure working with everyone involved over the years and a big thanks to everyone who came and enjoyed our event and who made it work.”

The society said the decision to close was 'against a background of ever-rising costs and the unreliable income generated from an unpredictable winter outdoor event'.

As a result, 'the financial risks had finally become too significant, even with the support of sponsors and the local community'.

This comes after Littlehampton Bonfire Society, who organise one of the biggest bonfire events in Sussex, had to cancel its celebrations this year for similar reasons.
The bonfire had been on hiatus for two years and was set to return this year, but a recent review of finances revealed the free public event was no longer viable or sustainable, the society said.

Shoreham Bonfire was formed in 2010 by Jonathan Marshall, who was joined by Stuart Lanham, Tim Goldsack and a small group of volunteers.

It grew into a family-friendly event that attracted more than 3,000 people each year. The self-funding event raised thousands of pounds for local charities and groups including Chestnut Tree House children's hospice.

The remaining funds will be distributed to the society's chosen local charities.

Jonathan thanked those who had backed the event. He said: "None of our successes could have been achieved without the tireless backing of some stalwart supporters and sponsors.

"Thanks also to our suppliers, including Chris Verdehaven of Frontier Fireworks and George Pewsey of EMS Security who have made our lives easy though their sympathetic treatment of this great community event."