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Recession hampers efforts to find air show sponsors

PUBLISHED: 09:30 13 April 2009 | UPDATED: 08:55 06 July 2010

Organisers of Lowestoft air show have admitted the recession is continuing to hamper their pursuit for new sponsors but are delighted by the response from members of the public.

Organisers of Lowestoft air show have admitted the recession is continuing to hamper their pursuit for new sponsors but are delighted by the response from members of the public.

A major sponsor has yet to be secured for July's show though last year's record-breaking spectacular has already ensured there is enough cash in the bank to keep the planes flying.

About 500 people have also provided a boost by signing up to join the show's friends' organisation that provides another vital funding stream.

A spokesman for the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival said: “While the search for sponsorship continues, especially for a major event sponsor, there is no lack of interest among the general public.

“With the recession hitting many companies that previously backed the event, the festival is relying more than ever on other means of funding.”

Community group Lowestoft Together ploughed £30,000 into last year's show to become the major sponsor - a role previously filled by frozen food firm Birds Eye for a decade.

The two-day show boasts free admission, but costs more than £300,000 to stage, meaning organisers need the support of their friends' group and visitors giving donations during the event. Last year, more than £80,000 was handed over by a record-breaking crowd of 440,000.

For £12, friends of the festival receive many benefits, including special rates for attending the VIP hospitality marquee, a free programme and a discount on merchandise. A £25 family package is also available for two adults and two children.

The spokesman added: “For several years, the Friends' organisation has been at the forefront of sustaining the event, with all income from membership going towards the flying displays.”

This year's event, on July 23 and 24, is already taking shape with the Red Arrows scheduled to appear on both days and hopes that the Avro Vulcan bomber will appear again.

t For more information on how to join the Friends, write to FOTLAF, 41 Tennyson Road, Lowestoft, NR32 1PS or visit the official website at www.lowestoftairfestival.co.uk.

Donations are also accepted at the above address and cheques should be made payable to Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival Ltd.

t Also visit the website for more information about sponsorship, or email operations' manager Keith Moughton at keith.moughton@waveney.gov.uk

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