ORGANISERS of the Clacton Air Show are starting to make plans to welcome the event’s largest-ever crowds this year.

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The show on August 22 and 23 is expected to attract a bumper attendance, following the confirmation that Southend Air Festival has been cancelled.

Southend Borough Council met on Thursday night and decided to drop the event from their 2013/2014 budget to save £130,000.

Lowestoft Air Show has also been cancelled, leaving Clacton as the main show on the east coast.

Tendring District Council’s cabinet member for tourism, Alan Goggin, said that while it was sad to see the demise of the Southend event, Clacton needed to make the most of the situation.

He said: “The loss of both Southend and Lowestoft could mean record crowds turning up to Clacton in the summer. With that in mind, the air show team is working very hard behind the scenes to get things in place and prepare for that eventuality.”

Mr Goggin said he was also aware that talks are taking place outside the council, which could mean more trains and carriages laid on over August 22 and 23.

“It is important that transport links are sorted and in place to deal with the anticipated influx of people to Clacton,” he said.

Mr Goggin added that the council is still working to deliver the show at zero cost to the council tax payer.

He repeated his plea for people to put at least £1 in the bucket collections for the free event, to help ensure that the air show continues in future years and improves.

He added:“If the public really do value this fantastic event, then they need to put their hands in their pockets and their money in the buckets.”

The Clacton Air Show attracted around 130,000 people over the two days in 2012.

It brings in about £4million income to the district’s businesses, over and above what they would take over the two days.

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