Air Show hopes rise

HOPES are high that the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival will continue to soar once more next year.

Organisers are set to meet today to discuss their options – with a weekend show earlier in the year, possibly in June, among plans being mooted.

After more than 380,000 visitors turned out for this year's spectacular, and �115,974 was collected in donations over the two days, the future of the festival has still been left up in the air.

The Journal understands that the Air Festival directors and the committee have spent recent weeks looking into the viability of running a show next year – given the London 2012 Olympics would be taking centre stage and this would affect flight-path permissions.

Last month we reported how the future for holding an air festival in 2012 seemed more hopeful – but by no means a certainty – after the bucket collections were announced.

At the time air festival managing director Paul Bayfield said: 'Not all our fundraising activities were as successful as the bucket collection – with park and ride income slightly down this year.'

This, added to increased charges for services next year, has led the festival committee to re-assess all the costs associated with running the show.

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The committee has sent out letters in to all the local clubs and organisations who work tirelessly behind the scenes at the show, who help out with collections and other vital tasks to ensure the smooth running of the two-day extravaganza.

And among these letters was a proposal to the community groups suggesting a 50pc reduction in commission fees – if for example the weather was bad next year and the subsequent drop in crowds could lead to poor financial results.

If the clubs and organisations back this option, which is underwritten by guarantee, it would help towards the committee being able to pay all its bills.

'This is of course one of a number of fallback arrangements, which together with a review of all costs, will help to evaluate if its is viable to go ahead with 2012 air show,' a spokesman told The Journal yesterday.

Log on to to find out the latest on the air show.

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