Lowestoft Air Show hopes soar with final decision to be made next week

Hopes are high that the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival will take off again next year.

A meeting of organisers was today (Friday) hailed as 'very positive' - with a final decision on the show's future to be announced next week.

The air festival directors and the committee met this afternoon to discuss their options during talks about the future of one of the region's most popular events.

Among the plans being suggested for 2012 was a weekend show to be held earlier in the year, possibly in June.

After more than 380,000 visitors had turned out for this year's spectacular, and �115,974 was collected in donations over the two days, the future of the festival had come under close scrutiny recently.

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But with organisers having spent recent weeks looking into the viability of running a show next year – given the London 2012 Olympics would be taking centre stage, and with a likely knock-on affect of flight-path permissions - a final announcement is now only days away.

Speaking after this afternoon's meeting, air festival managing director, Paul Bayfield, said: 'It has been a very positive and enlightening meeting.'

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Mr Bayfield added that 'lots of good things' had come out of the talks, and that a final decision regarding next year's show would be made at the annual gala presentation on Wednesday, with clubs and local organisations who volunteered at this year's show also in attendance.

With increased charges for services next year, the festival committee have been re-assessing all the costs associated with running the show.

The committee has sent out letters to all the local clubs and organisations who work tirelessly behind the scenes at the show, helping out with collections and other vital tasks to ensure the smooth running of the two-day extravaganza. And in these letters was a proposal to the community groups suggesting a 50pc reduction in commission fees – if for example the weather was bad next year, and the subsequent drop in crowds could lead to poor financial results.

If the clubs and organisations back this option, which is underwritten by guarantee, it would help towards the committee being able to pay all its bills.

'This is of course one of a number of fallback arrangements, which together with a review of all costs, will help to evaluate if its is viable to go ahead with the 2012 air show,' a spokesman for the air festival added.

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