Suffolk

Lowestoft Air Festival has £40,000 pledged by local businesses

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Media captionBusiness leaders were "reasonably confident" the air show would return

Organisers of the Lowestoft Air Festival, which was cancelled this year, say they have two-thirds of the funding needed for it to return next year.

The two-day air show, which can attract up to 240,000 people, did not have enough money to go ahead this year.

Organisers said local businesses had pledged £40,000 of the £60,000 needed to put it on in 2014.

A decision on whether to proceed will be made at the end of September.

Lowestoft Seafront Air Festival Limited said its reserves had fallen after the 2012 event, when poor weather affected attendance and not enough visitors made the voluntary entrance donations.

Lowestoft Vision, which represents the town's Business Improvement District group of traders, held a meeting of its members on Tuesday to try to raise the £60,000 needed for a contingency fund.

Bookings deadline

The air show costs about £300,000 to run and is estimated to bring £13m in to the local economy.

Danny Steel, chairman of Lowestoft Vision, said the vast majority of local businesses want it to return.

Image caption The two-day event has attracted up to 240,000 people to the seafront when it has been sunny

"I think we've got a way forward," he said.

"We've identified £40,000 so we're well on the way, but we still need more and we have ideas about public collections and getting more businesses to pledge money to close the £20,000 gap.

"I'm reasonably confident that we can get enough money together to make the event happen."

Paul Bayfield, from the festival's organising committee, said: "It's very exciting and all credit to Lowestoft Vision and the seafront businesses for coming up with this."

Organisers said a decision on whether to press ahead with the festival would have to be made by 28 September so that they could book RAF planes in time for the June event.

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