Published on Wednesday 21 March 2018

A new fund will focus on improving safety in fireworks factories as well as contributing to the betterment of the final product, especially due to the prominent role this industry plays in Maltese culture and celebrations

This is helping to strengthen this sector as well as make it more popular, both with locals and tourists alike.

“While the spectacular displays that light up our skies are renowned for their high level of artistry and creativity, a lot of hard work from behind the scenes is done to ensure a smooth outcome. This fund is being launched before the start of the festa season, to kickstart this increase in security. This sector is well-loved by Maltese and Gozitans alike, most of which eagerly await their festa each year – as well as those who also enjoy the result of this hard work, which has also proven popular overseas” said Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici during the fund’s launch at Fortress Builders.

The fund, which offers financial support to Maltese fireworks factories working on a voluntary basis, will allocate grants to fireworks factories in Malta to improve their infrastructure so that the volunteers can work in a safer environment. The aim is to improve safety both during the manufacturing process as well as during the letting off of the fireworks. The grant is also intended for volunteers to invest in resources to improve the safety of the Maltese pyrotechnic product.

Managed by Arts Council Malta within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, a total of EUR 170,000 will be allocated for this fund for 2018. Each fireworks factory can benefit from a EUR 5,000 grant, all of which can be put to infrastructural use. If allocated to current expenses, these cannot exceed 40 percent of the requested amount and must also be related to safety.

“Fireworks and the artistic skills that go into their manufacture are not only an integral part of our culture – often they lie at the very heart of the community,” said Arts Council Malta executive chair Albert Marshall. Community exchange is one of the five strategic focuses running through Arts Council Malta’s Strategy2020, the Council’s five-year plan for the cultural and creative sectors.

In order to qualify for this fund, the fireworks factories are required to come up with ideas and proposals on how they can achieve the upgrade of the factories themselves; on how they can invest in the infrastructure of the fireworks factories; in machinery and tools which facilitate the manufacture of fireworks and make the process safer; in equipment which improves safety during the letting off of fireworks; in training resources related to the safety of fireworks as well as on fostering better collaboration between Maltese fireworks factories.

The fund is open to licensed fireworks factories registered as voluntary organisations. In the case of fireworks factories forming part of band clubs, the band club needs to be registered as a voluntary organisation.

All the eligible applications will be evaluated by a board of evaluators according to established and published guidelines.

Download the application for the fund offering financial support to Maltese fireworks factories working on a voluntary basis. Applications are also available from the Arts Council Malta reception desk in Valletta. Completed applications need to be received by hand by 30 April 2018 at noon.

Press release by the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government