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Unite Student’s Union were building a new 20-storey apartment building in Wembley, London and wanted to celebrate when the construction had reached full height.

The clients’ concept for the event involved Fireworks being fired from the roof and viewed from a rooftop bar in an adjacent hotel, so it was far from a traditional site and something we hadn’t undertaken before. That being said, we jumped at the chance to quote for the job.

The first port of call was for our most experienced manger to visit the site and make a detailed assessment of both the firing site and viewing platform which was 400m away. Following the site visit, we prepared a pitch and were awarded the job.



The view from the hotel bar was clear of obstructions – the only concern was the distance between the two sites and ensuring that the display looked large and striking when watched from so far away.

The second challenge was working on a live building site – the operation would be shut down by the time we fired late in the evening, but during the day the site would be operating as normal with hundreds of workers and heavy machinery. We would have to work around the construction workers and ensure we didn’t disrupt their day.

There were only limited personnel lifts in operation too which meant we also needed to find a solution for getting all of our equipment up and down from the roof, as walking 2-3 tons of kit up the stairs was not practical!


We completed a comprehensive risk assessment and spoke at length with the site foreman to make a plan which could accommodate both of our needs. Thankfully, they offered to use one of their giant cranes to lift 3 pallets up onto the roof and back down again.

The only way to overcome the issue of the large viewing distance was to go BIG with the design. We included our larger range of fireworks, making the show full of aerial shells, big calibre candles and large cakes.

The cranes were in use all day, but we ensured that they were parked up for the night in a safe position out of the way of our firing site.


It was certainly one of our more memorable displays, as you can see from the pictures.

Having a firework display fired so high in the sky with the Wembley Arch lit up next to us was quite a unique experience.

The client loved it and even the queue of gig-goers waiting to get into Wembley Arena that evening were treated to a surprise display which certainly brightened up their time as they waited to get inside.

Fireworks display used for unite student union
Fireworks used for unite student union in the evening


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