Rockets to fly from ramparts

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Fireworks will be launched from the roof of Lancaster’s historic Castle for the first time in history.

The new format to the annual display will also mark the beginning of a new phase for the castle as an international tourist destination. Proposals to transform the building into a boutique hotel and other attractions were announced last month.

The news also coincides with the 400 year anniversary of the Lancashire Witch Trials in 2012 and follows the Olympic Torch celebrations in June.

Crowds of up to 16,000 people are expected to witness the Lancaster Fireworks Spectacular on November 3. The Duchy of Lancaster has given permission for the castle to be the centrepiece of the pyrotechnics, moving the launch from its traditional spot on the nearby Vicarage Fields.

The new location will increase the height of the firework launch by up to 100 feet, meaning that wherever you can see the castle, you will see the fireworks.

Lancaster City Council promises that the event will be “the most spectacular of them all”.

Due to the popularity of last year’s event and problems with people not being able to see the display properly, organisers have introduced a free wristband system for the two official viewing areas closest to the castle at Quay Meadow and Giant Axe.

Coun Ron Sands, cabinet member with responsibility for tourism, said: “Having been granted permission from the Duchy of Lancaster to launch the extravaganza from the top of Lancaster Castle, this year’s event promises to be the most spectacular of them all.

“The free wristband system will ensure that those people who want to view from these two sites will be able to do so safely and have an enjoyable time, while those who do not will know well in advance that they need to find an alternative viewing area from the many which are available.”

This is the first time the castle itself has been used to stage the event.