Livingstone plans £1m New Year fireworks

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The Independent Online

A £1m fireworks display to be launched five hours before midnight was announced yesterday as the centrepiece of a New Year's Eve party designed to prevent huge crowds flocking to the centre of London.

A £1m fireworks display to be launched five hours before midnight was announced yesterday as the centrepiece of a New Year's Eve party designed to prevent huge crowds flocking to the centre of London.

The 15-minute finale will be fired from buildings across the capital from Canary Wharf to Big Ben at the end of a day-long party aimed at spreading the December 31 celebrations throughout the capital.

Ken Livingstone, the Mayor, who approved the decision to move the climax of New Year's Eve from its traditional midnight slot to 7pm, said the event was designed to offer Londoners more choice.

He was speaking as the pop star turned impresario Bob Geldof, whose production company 10Alps is co-ordinating the event, unveiled a blueprint to turn the capital into a 12-hour urban wonderland.

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