A total of 27 fireworks factories received €5,000 each to improve their safety practices thanks to a new fund through which they have benefitted. This fund offers financial support to Maltese fireworks factories working on a voluntary basis.
“This new fund supports the growth of this popular industry that plays such a central role in Maltese culture and celebrations”, said Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici during the distribution of funds. “Behind the spectacular and artistic displays that light up our skies, a lot of hard work goes on behind the scenes. We want to better recognise and safeguard this work.”
Coming at the start of the festa summer season, the fund allocates 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.
Each of the 27 fireworks factories will benefit from a €5,000 grant, all of which can be put to infrastructural use. If allocated to current expenses, these cannot exceed 40 per cent of the requested amount and must also be related to safety. Managed by Arts Council Malta within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government, a total of €170,000 is being allocated for this fund this year.
In order to qualify for this fund, the fireworks factories were 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; and on fostering better collaboration between Maltese fireworks factories.
The fund was open only to licensed fireworks factories registered as voluntary organisations. In the case of fireworks factories forming part of band clubs, the band clubs were required to be registered as a voluntary organisation.
“The fund has already resulted in the better regulation of the sector; almost all the fireworks factories are now registered voluntary organisations, allowing the sector to professionalise and regulate itself”, said Arts Council Malta Executive Chairman Albert Marshall. “The programme builds upon Arts Council Malta’s Create2020 strategy on professionalisation and the Council’s goal of nurturing creative potential and supporting its development into professional activity.”
Often lying at the very heart of the community, fireworks and the artistic skill that go into their manufacture form an integral part of our culture. Together with professionalisation, community exchange is one of five strategic focuses running through Arts Council Malta’s Strategy2020, the Council’s five-year plan for the cultural and creative sectors.
The results are available on www.artscouncilmalta.org