The first of Southend’s “iconic” firework displays is set to return after bad weather forced its cancellation.

Southend’s displays, which have been drawing crowds since 1996, were cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first display since the lifting of lockdown restrictions was due to take place last Saturday, October 2.

But after strong winds were forecast by the Met Office, the Southend Business Improvement District (BID), which funds the displays, announced the event’s cancellation.

Southend BID said the forecasted 40-50mph winds forced its hand.

But the display is back on this week, with a starting time of 7.30pm today at the seafront.

The display is expected to last around 10 to 15 minutes, with further displays then taking place each Saturday at the same time, up to December 4.

Suzanne Gloyne, Southend BID Manager, said: “Southend’s firework displays are popular every year, we were devastated that due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions we were unable to host them in 2020," she said.

"However, the safety of attendees and Southend’s residents is always our top priority.

"Now that restrictions have eased, we are thrilled that we can once again oversee Southend’s iconic firework displays; they support local businesses massively and after a challenging year, we know they’ll make a lasting impact.

"Furthermore, we are elated to be hosting more displays than ever before; we hope this will provide vendors with a sense of security and support, whilst bringing even more joy to those who watch our displays.”