Red Arrows set for Lowestoft air show
JONATHAN REDHEAD Lowestoft's economy was given a timely boost last night with news that the Red Arrows will be returning to the town for this year's “bigger and better” air show.
Lowestoft's economy was given a timely boost last night with news that the Red Arrows will be returning to the town for this year's "bigger and better" airshow.
The Royal Air Force's aerobatic formation team is a massive attraction at the two-day event, which regularly brings about 400,000 people into Lowestoft.
With a record £275,000 budget for the show on July 27 and 28, organisers promised it would be bigger and better than ever.
The Red Arrows are the first aircraft to be booked for the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival, which will be celebrating its 10th year and also marking the Queen's 80th birthday.
The news is also a relief to those who thought the show was under threat with uncertainty about the town's Birds Eye factory.
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Birds Eye and its parent company Unilever are the main sponsors of the air show.
But when Unilever put Birds Eye and the Whapload Road factory up for sale last month, many feared the backing would end.
However, factory manager and managing director of Lowestoft Seafront Festival Graham Cooke said last night Unilever promised to support the show - whatever happened to Birds Eye.
"Birds Eye is a world class performer and we are proud to be associated with a world class display such as the Red Arrows," he said.
"The Lowestoft factory is the best of British, winning the UK Manufacturer of the Year Award for 2005, and the Red Arrows are also the best of British.
"Their pilots, the cream of the Royal Air Force, and their British-built planes, the BAe Systems Hawk Mk1, are the best in the world."
The Red Arrows are now training for the 2006 season at their home base at RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire.