There is only one fireworks display in Whitehill & Bordon this year after a free event forced the cancellation of one which sells tickets to cover costs and raise charity cash.

The Whitehill & Bordon Town Partnership called off its Country Market show due to take place on November 2 after a 75 per cent drop in advance ticket sales left it facing a £5,000 loss.

While the free event in Parade Square on November 5 will also give money to charity, the Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company is paying for it.

The town partnership said: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to Country Market who have supported us from the very start. They hand over their site to us for days, without charge. The owners support us and we have a great relationship with the staff.

“It’s a shame we had to cancel the event because of a huge drop in ticket sales and the unhelpful way Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company continue to duplicate and destroy existing events.”

The regeneration company said: “We are disappointed to hear the news of the cancellation of the town partnership’s fireworks display. We know many local people enjoyed the event, in particular the children’s earlier show.

“The introduction of a new display from Whitehill & Bordon Regeneration Company was meant to complement, not compete with, existing local events. Our position is to always promote the town, follow in the footsteps of the Army who provided community displays every year, and offer a walkable alternative.”

Whitehill Town Council leader Cllr Andy Tree said: “While I am sure residents appreciate the free firework display put on by the regeneration company and it will no doubt be enjoyable, I want to know what their long-term plan is. Worst case scenario is that they stop providing a free display in the future, and by that time the town partnership are no longer in a position to run their’s.

“My personal preference would be for the company and partnership to get together and find a way to collaborate – for example, the company provide funding to allow the partnership to run a free future firework display using the valuable partnership volunteers and expertise.

“I would be happy to host such a meeting as an independent mediator, but appreciate that people are feeling hurt and upset.”