Lowestoft: Hopes high for festival

ORGANISERS are hopeful that the Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival will take off again next year after a significant rise in donations.

Bosses said that that �115,974 was collected in donations over the two days of this year’s event – up by more than �30,000 on last year’s rain-hit event.

The total, collected from an estimated 384,000 visitors over the two days, has come as a major boost for organisers, as thoughts turn to their plans for 2012 – and the possibility of the first-ever weekend air festival.

In the lead-up to this year’s event, the directors had urged visitors to make a minimum donation of �3 to secure the air festival’s future, and they warned this could be in doubt without more public support.

Air festival director Brian Hunter said he was delighted with the generous response from the public and grateful to the 300 volunteers from local community groups and charities who helped collect the money.

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Now the organisers have about a month to make a final decision on whether to run a show next year, as they weigh up their income against the �310,000 costs of staging the event.

One option is to run the two-day event over a weekend earlier in the summer – possibly in June – in a effort to avoid a clash with the Olympic Games in London, which could also affect flightpath permissions.

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Air festival managing director Paul Bayfield said it was likely that one in three adults put the “minimum donation” into collection buckets.

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