New air show moves step closer after Great Yarmouth Borough Council backs measures

Great Yarmouth Air Show planned for June 2017.
Picture: James Bass

Great Yarmouth Air Show planned for June 2017. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A new seaside air show could have take off after a series of supportive measures were approved.

Councillors on Great Yarmouth Borough Council's policy and resources committee approved a number of recommendations lending the authorities support for the event scheduled for next year.

The two day aerial display is being organised by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTBIA), a body independent of the council and paid for by a levy on businesses in the borough.

The air show was supposed to take place in June, but was cancelled months before because of a triad of unforeseen issues.

Conservative councillor Barry Coleman, who is also vice chairman of the GYTBIA, told committee members concerns which had hampered plans this year, namely over terrorism, protecting a colony of little terns and the cost of providing medical cover, had largely been addressed.

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Councillor Kay Grey said she was concerned at a proposal to use the Gorleston cliff top for parking.

The Ukip group leader added: 'If there's a bit of rain you're going to churn those cliffs up and they're going to be hideous for the rest of the season.'

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She asked for an amendment, which was agreed by councillors, to make the GYTBIA responsible for any clean up costs.

Labour councillor Brian Walker said he feared if the cliff top was designated as a viewing area, spectators could be left disappointed if the weather was not as hoped, adding: 'You might be able to hear the show but not see the planes.'

There was discussion about what the borough council's legal liability would be if something went wrong, despite the event being organised independently.

Shelia Oxtoby, the council's chief executive who was present, said a report would be prepared so councillors had a fuller picture of any legal implications of the local authority's involvement.

Estimates show the event could boost the local economy by as much as £10m, benefiting local hoteliers and businesses.

A report prepared by council officers noted if the airshow did not take place again there will be risk of damage to the council's reputation by association.

The committee voted to recognise the strategic importance of an Air Show and provide council support.

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