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Recession won't ground air show

PUBLISHED: 16:29 19 January 2009 | UPDATED: 22:14 05 July 2010

THE boss of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival has guaranteed the 2009 show will go ahead, despite the credit crunch and the current lack of a major sponsor.

THE boss of the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival has guaranteed the 2009 show will go ahead, despite the credit crunch and the current lack of a major sponsor.

Festival managing director Paul Bayfield said the success of last year's record-breaking show ensured another spectacular two-day flying programme for this year.

And he issued a rallying call to the public and businesses to continue throwing their weight behind the event to ensure its survival for many years to come.

Hundreds of glossy brochures have been sent out to businesses in a bid to attract large and small sponsors for this year's 13th show on July 23 and 24.

This includes the hunt for a new major backer to replace the community group Lowestoft Together, which ploughed £30,000 into last year's festival.

Mr Bayfield said: “Obviously we are, like everybody else, a little concerned, but we've had some fantastic support from the public and local and regional companies.

“We will be treating it like a normal year because of the money the public donated to us last year. We have got to work to put on a good show again and we have so much confidence because of the support that has been given to us.”

Lowestoft Together stepped in when Birds Eye stood down, following a decade as a major backer, while many other businesses took up the opportunity to be sponsors.

Last July's glorious weather attracted a record 440,000 visitors, who donated more than £80,000 in collecting buckets around the seafront, despite the event being free. The success led to the show winning the Suffolk Tourism award for the best event or festival.

Organisers will now plough on with drawing up the flying programme for the next show, which will cost more than £300,000 to stage and feature more than four hours of action-packed flying displays on both days.

Mr Bayfield said the event also provided businesses with a huge audience and revealed two giant display screens could be put up on the seafront this year to improve coverage.

“The festival provides local and regional businesses and organisations with promotional, marketing and product placement opportunities that are unsurpassed,” he added.

“It contributes to the local and regional economy because it brings so many visitors to the area. And, because the event is now nationally known, it offers wider recognition and tourism awareness of our area.”

For more information, contact the air festival's sponsorship and operations' manager Keith Moughton on 01502 523398 or email him at keith.moughton@waveney.gov.uk.


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