Clacton-on-Sea: Clacton Air Show takes to the skies as town braces itself for £4million cash boost and more than 100,000 strong crowds
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
Record crowds and a £4million cash injection to the local economy are expected as the annual Clacton Air Show takes to the skies today.
The marquee event will be seen as a welcome boost after the town was yesterday named as the second-most deprived seaside destination in the country. After dismissing fears earlier this year that the 2013 Clacton Air Show would be cancelled after Southend and Lowestoft air shows fell victim to budget constraints and rising costs respectively, council leaders last night insisted the two-day aviation extravaganza would be “one of the best ever”.
More than 100,000 flight fans are set to descend on the resort today and tomorrow as flying display teams paint the skylines and dazzle the crowds.
Alan Goggin, Tendring District Council’s (TDC) cabinet member for tourism, said: “We are all really excited about this year’s show and I am certain it will be one of, if not the best, ever.
“The show is free but we will be asking people to make donations in the buckets which will be going around on both days.
“The money raised helps to ensure that we can maintain the event’s high standard and continue to provide top class entertainment year after year.”
His comments come after analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed Clacton to be the second-most deprived larger destinations towns in England in 2010.
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But TDC, who pulled in crowds totalling more than 130,000 last year, insists the show, now in its 22nd year, is the signature event on Tendring’s tourism calendar and will provide a vital boost to the district’s economy – bringing in around £4m.
Highlights include displays by the Red Arrows both days, an appearance by a Vulcan and a Rolls-Royce Spitfire, an unarmed, high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft with a top-speed of 446mph.
Free internet access will be available through the ‘Sunshine Coast’ WiFi network while Greater Anglia is running extra services in to the town.
An Essex Police spokesman advised motorists heading to the event, which runs from 11am-5pm, to allow extra time for their journeys and to stock up on provisions.