Air show could bring £15m into Great Yarmouth’s economy

Groups such as the Red Arrows are an attraction at air shows across the country. Photo: PA/Andrew Ma

Groups such as the Red Arrows are an attraction at air shows across the country. Photo: PA/Andrew Matthews - Credit: PA

An ambitious air show planned for Great Yarmouth's golden mile is expected to bring an estimated £15m into the local economy.

Tourism chiefs have spent the last year scoping out a four-day festival in 2017, which would see planes soaring over the sea off the seafront.

And now, the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA) has committed to hold the first annual air show in 2017.

At a meeting this month, councillors heard that it is hoped the show would draw in 250,000 to 300,000 spectators over a Thursday and Friday evening, and then a Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

It was thought the spectacle could bring in around £15m to the area.


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And if it was to continue annually this could jump to £18m in year two and £22m in year three.

A report prepared for councillors said: 'The air show will be the biggest event ever staged in the borough, adding to the reputation of staging key events including the Maritime and Out There festivals. The air show will help build the profile of the borough as a place to live, work and visit.'

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Michael Jeal, Labour councillor for Nelson Ward, raised concerns over possible parking arrangements and how it would affect the Barrack Estate.

He said: 'I'm worried about the residents, how are we going to stop people parking all over Great Yarmouth? If we can't park the residents are going to get really upset.'

But Barry Coleman, chairman of the economic development committee and Conservative councillor for East Flegg reassured members that the plans were only in their early stages, and issues such as parking would be looked at in detail.

He said: 'There have been initial early meetings but ward councillors will be involved.'

Members voted to support the borough council's car parking section and property section in working with GYTABIA, and a report outlining possible options will be presented at the next meeting.

Air show event director Asa Morrison added: 'Staging an air show takes months or years of preparation. The board of GYTABIA are confident that many aspects of this crucial planning stage are now falling into place.

'There is still much work to do and the GYTABIA board will continue to work with many agencies and partners to bring an air show to Great Yarmouth in 2017.'

The dates of the air show are due to be announced next week, but it is expected to be held in either June or July next year.

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