Council cash in on fireworks fundraiser in Cromer
- Credit: PAUL DUNSTAN
Cash-strapped council chiefs are planning to cash in on one of the biggest fireworks displays in the country - by charging visitors to leave their vehicles in their normally free car park.
North Norfolk District Council has confirmed it will open its 250-space Holt Road office car park for the New Year's Day fireworks in Cromer.
However, with parking at a premium in the town ahead of the free event, which raises money for good causes from donations on the day, it has announced it will charge visitors a £2 per vehicle entrance fee.
The car park will open at 2pm and close at 9pm, with the display on the pier due to start at 5pm.
Free parking is being offered by neighbouring businesses – the Co-op, Homebase, and Amazona Zoo, all closer to the town centre – as well as nearby Cromer Junior School.
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Usual charges will apply at other car parks run by North Norfolk District Council on the day, with the exception of the Runton Road car park which is charging a set fee of £2 after 2pm.
Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, said: 'The Cromer Pier fireworks have become a highly successful annual event.
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'Thousands of people come to visit the town from a wide area. Providing these extra car parking spaces will help spread the pressure on car parking.
'We hope everyone enjoys the fireworks and their time in Cromer on New Year's Day.'
Organisers of the fireworks - which cost £6000 to stage and attract crowds of up to 10,000 people - are encouraging visitors to arrive early to ensure they don't miss out.
Firework Committee chairman Jim Bond said: 'We're delighted it's become such a successful annual event, and with plenty of good vantage points to watch the display, come early, we don't want anyone to miss it.
'This year, January 1 is a Sunday, so linger longer and enjoy the evening.'