Reaction: MP and council leader ‘shocked’ and saddened by Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival announcement
Poor weather is being blamed for a drastic loss of income at this year's Lowestoft Airshow, which has resulted in organisers making the shock announcement that it will almost certainly be the last.
A meeting of the organising committee last week was told the sad news that the first-ever weekend event had failed to raise the sums necessary to make it a viable proposition to go ahead with an airshow next year.
In fact it was only because the organisers had a small wet weather contingency reserve fund that all the costs for the event could just be met at all – leaving the reserves at rock bottom.
The popular event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of people, has been running for 16 years - but today, organisers have confirmed that the show will not go-ahead next year.
Reacting to the announcement from airshow organisers today, Waveney MP Peter Aldous said news of the cancellation was 'very sad'.
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He said: 'I would like to pay tribute to Paul (Bayfield) and his team who have worked very hard – especially the work carried out over the last few years – to make the air festival the greatest show on the east coast. I hope this is only an interim measure and that in future years it will come back in a different guise stronger than ever before.'
Colin Law, Leader of Waveney District Council, said: ''I am shocked to hear the announcement from the airshow organising committee and it would be a very great shame if the event was to be cancelled. However I know that work will continue to save the event and I personally believe that no stone will be left unturned by Paul Bayfield and his team.'
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This year's show took place on June 23/24 and was considered the best show ever by many in terms of the flying displays.
Managing Director Paul Bayfield said: 'It is with much regret and a lot of sadness that I have to report that we do not have sufficient funds to go ahead with an Air Show next year.
'The event has been running for 16 years and has only survived that long because of the wonderful support that has been forthcoming. Unfortunately this year we have become another victim of the vagaries of the British weather.'
For more reaction to this story, see tomorrow's EDP.
To re-live this year's air show, view the photo gallery and links at the top-right of this page.
What do you think about the show being cancelled? Are you surprised? Leave a comment below.