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'Support us' call to businesses

PUBLISHED: 16:19 06 August 2010 | UPDATED: 09:48 16 September 2010

AN impassioned plea has gone out to all seafront business to get behind the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival amid fears that the event's future could be in doubt unless more support is shown.

AN impassioned plea has gone out to all seafront business to get behind the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival amid fears that the event's future could be in doubt unless more support is shown.

The call is made in a letter sent to 25 businesses and co-signed by the three directors of Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival Ltd, the not-for-profit company run by volunteers.

The decision to write to all businesses associated with the seafront area is described in the letter as an unusual step arising from “great cause for concern for next year's show and shows thereafter”.

The letter states: “We receive lots of support from businesses large and small, but you may be interested to know that, although we enjoy the practical support and 'in-kind' help from some seafront businesses, we only have the financial support of just ONE of them.”

It continues: “We feel it is our responsibility to try to make everyone aware of where we are at this juncture and, in particular, in terms of funding for next year's show.

“We know that air show days are the best days of the year for most businesses in the seafront area and we want that to continue.

“However, next year the event will be facing additional costs and, in particular, for emergency services provision.”

The letter is signed by the company's managing director, Paul Bayfield, and its two directors, Brian Hunter and Barry Hartley.

Mr Bayfield said this week: “We are not crying wolf to seafront traders. We know we will be facing additional costs next year as the council, the police and all emergency services who are on duty for the air festival are facing big budget cuts: this is a fact.

“Since losing our event sponsor we have had to rely more and more on the bucket collection, but we cannot rely on that alone each year - it's too unpredictable.”

The plea comes as another seaside air-show, the one at Bournemouth, enjoys good financial support from many of the seafront businesses that benefit from the huge crowds that attend it.

In Lowestoft, businesses that do offer support to the air festival include the Claremont Pier, South Pier, Hotel Victoria and the Hotel Hatfield.

Peter Hoyle, general manager of the Hotel Victoria, urged other businesses to show their support.

“The air festival does so much to promote Lowestoft, and it generates a lot of custom for businesses in the town and surrounding area.

“The business community in general, and seafront businesses in particular, need to give the air festival their full backing,” he said.

Meanwhile, the air show is once again urging all those who attend the free event to make a donation of at least £2 to help them cover their costs and secure its future. Volunteers with collecting buckets will be working on both days.


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