28 fireworks factories, which operate on a voluntary basis, have been awarded €5,000 each to improve safety practices in pyrotechnics. The fund was launched for the second year running by Arts Council Malta, which falls within the Ministry for Justice, Culture and Local Government.
"This fund is a clear example of how this Government is committed to keep on strengthening our traditions and customs, which form an intrinsic part of our identity. Each year, both locals and foreigners alike eagerly await these firework spectacles which are loved by many, and some may not realise all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that these turn out well. Through such a project we are not only making this aspect of our culture more accessible, but we are also safeguarding this tradition, whilst also ensuring the safety of the volunteers who are creating these formidable works of art", said Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici during the ceremony.
This fund provided each fireworks factory with the opportunity to improve its infrastructure so that volunteers are given a safe working environment both during manufacture and during the lighting up of the fireworks. Through this fund, the factories can also invest in resources which will aid them in improving the quality of the local pyrotechnic product and its security.
Arts Council Malta Chairman Albert Marshall said that, "the Malta Arts Council is making a strong statement through this fund – that the Council believes in the safety and art of our firework workers and the safety of their workplace."
Thanks to this fund, the factories were invited to come up with ideas and proposals to restore the actual factories and invest in their structure, as well as in machinery and tools which facilitate and make production safer. It also aims to help them invest in equipment to improve security and in learning resources regarding security as well whilst looking into more collaboration between the fireworks factories.
Each fireworks factory will also receive a First Aid Box to install in the factory, and a member of the factory is to attend for a First Aid Course organised by the Malta Red Cross in collaboration with Arts Council Malta.