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In a move designed to expand the British Firework Championships into a much larger national competition, the organisers have announced the launch of two regional heats for 2007.

The Welsh National Firework Championships will take place at Chepstow Racecourse on May 5 followed two weeks later with the Scottish National Firework Championships at Perth Racecourse on May 26.

The Event Services Association (TESA), which organises the competition, is also planning at least two English heats but these will not now be launched until 2008.

The final - the British Firework Championships - will continue to be held in Plymouth on August 14/15. The championships are now in their 11th year.

"We hope that by next year we will have secured sites for a further two or three heats in England," says TESA Director Jim Winship. "We had hoped to launch these this year but various logistical issues have arisen to prevent this so we will be having to resort to a draw for the English representatives at the Final this time."

In order to cover the costs of the heats, TESA is working with the venues and local radio stations to build up family fun evenings around the events. It hopes to cover the costs through a combination of sponsorships and ticket sales.

Three companies will be competing to represent Wales in the Final - Celebration Fireworks, Pendragon Fireworks and West Coast Fireworks. To support the event there will also be a fun fair and live music.

The three competitors selected to take part in the first Scottish championships at Perth Racecourse are Blast Design Fireworks, Fireworx Scotland and The Midnight Storm Firework Company.

The winner of each competition will be invited to represent their country at the British Firework Championship final in Plymouth on 14th/15th August, 2007.

The British Firework Championships, which have taken place in Plymouth for the last 10 years, are now the largest annual display competition in the UK, attracting crowds of some 200,000 over two nights. Last year the organisers also broke the world record for the number of rockets fired in one go when 56,645 officially took to the air over Plymouth, winning recognition from Guinness World Records™.

Details of how tickets can be obtained for the Welsh and Scottish heats will appear on the website later in February.

Further information about the event can be obtained from TESA (18c Moor Street, Chepstow NP16 5DB) on 01291 636338.

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