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Fireworks display sponsors sought

PUBLISHED: 10:36 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:09 05 July 2010

LOWESTOFT air festival organisers are appealing for help to make this year's summer show go with an extra bang.

With news that the event on Thursday and Friday, July 24 and 25 is set to hit a record with the flying budget, attendance and sponsorship in line to be the best so far, the search is now on to find a group of supporters to bring back the popular fireworks display.

LOWESTOFT air festival organisers are appealing for help to make this year's summer show go with an extra bang.

With news that the event on Thursday and Friday, July 24 and 25 is set to hit a record with the flying budget, attendance and sponsorship in line to be the best so far, the search is now on to find a group of supporters to bring back the popular fireworks display.

In previous years, the colourful spectacular has brought a fitting finale to the end of the first day for spectators, but so far no one has come forward with an offer to help pay for the evening entertainment.

Barry Hartley, publicity officer for the air festival, said they were looking for an individual or group of businesses to come forward to foot the bill for fireworks, because their money was tied up in the aircraft displays.

He said: “We have had many requests to have the fireworks again this year but we believe people would rather we spent the money on air displays. This year's show, with a big RAF allocation and many other exciting aircraft, is shaping up to be bigger and better than ever.

“Unfortunately these displays are costing everyone a lot more this year, mainly because of soaring fuel costs, and it means that our flying budget will be a record. In total the event could cost well over £300,000.”

“In addition we are hoping to include the unique Vulcan bomber, which alone will cost us £16,000 for two displays.”

Another step towards the Vulcan appearing this year was meant to be taken on Wednesday during the last in a series of flight tests.

The restored bomber took off on a test flight from RAF Cottesmore, in Rutland, bound for Bruntingthorpe Airfield, in Leicestershire, but had to land two hours earlier than planned after the pilot reported a problem with the landing gear door.

Pilot Martin Withers said: “It's a very big door which is hanging down in the wind - and so we're limited to the speed we can fly, and if we'd carried on with the test then there's a fair chance we might have damaged the door. And that would have meant much more work and so on.”

More support for the event is coming in steadily from people who are joining the Friends of the Air Festival.

So far more than 700 people - 11pc up on April last year - have paid their £10 subscription to join the Friends.

If you are interested in sponsoring the evening fireworks on Thursday, July 25, email paulbayfield@btconnect.com or telephone Keith Moughton on 01502 523398.

To become a Friend of the air festival, which is being supported by Chadds, in Lowestoft, log on to: www.lowestoftairfestival.co.uk or fill in the application form.

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