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Plug pulled on New Year party; KNEES-UP WILL RETURN NEXT YEAR CENTRED ON MILLENNIUM PLACE.

Byline: CATHERINE TURNELL

DAY-LONG New Year's Eve celebrations in Coventry city centre have been cancelled.

The news will come as a shock to thousands of revellers who have made the city centre their focus for bringing in the New Year since the millennium eve party when an estimated 30,000 people crammed together to welcome in 2000.

Fewer people turned out for the last New Year's Eve party and organisers have decided it would cost too much to go ahead this year.

But CV One, the city tourism and management company, says the event will enjoy a return to form next year when Phoenix Initiative work on Millennium Place is completed, leaving a venue, outside the revamped Museum of British Road Transport, Hales Street, more suited for celebrations.

Peter Walters, head of image and festivals for CV One, said: "We were very reluctant to pull down the curtain on New Year's Eve, but as it stands we are not able to do justice to the event this year.

"It's very expensive to do because everything costs a lot more over the New Year's Eve holiday and we don't have a suitable venue for a show like this at the moment.

"We used the space between the cathedral and Coventry Uni-versity to do a very successful Golden Jubilee Day event in the summer, but that is not really an option in hard weather. Rather than doing something of poor quality, we would much rather launch the new Millennium Place with a much more spectacular event next year."

Last year, an estimated 8,000 people braved the cold and rain to watch nine hours of free live entertainment in the city centre, including music from soul diva Ruby Turner and a DJ set from chart-topper, and former Coventry University student, Jean Jacques Smoothie. There was also family entertainment by clowns, dancers and acrobats.

Mr Walters added: "If we did anything again in the middle of the precinct, the cost of trying to make sure all the retailers felt adequately protected gets prohibitive.

"This year, we did the jubilee event. There was no extra money for that in the coffers so that diminished what we could spend. Looking at the budget we have this year, it struck us it would be better to cancel the event."

CAPTION(S):

HAPPY GATHERING: Crowds packed Broadgate for the New Year's eve party entertainment and celebrations last year; SURE-FOOTED: People danced to a band under the Cathedral Lanes canopy, Broadgate, during the day last year
COPYRIGHT 2002 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 28, 2002
Words:418
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