Red Arrows flying back for air show

First published in Countywide news Essex County Standard: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

THE world-famous Red Arrows will be returning to Clacton this summer for the town’s 21st air show.

The display team will perform on the second day of the event on August 24.

It was forced to pull out of the show last year following the death of Flight Lieutenant Jon Egging at Bournemouth Air Show the weekend before.

Following the further death of Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham, who died at RAF Scampton in November, there was doubt over how many shows the Red Arrows would take part in this year.

Despite the Red Arrows having a busy summer with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics, the team has confirmed it will fly at Clacton Air Show, which is organised by Tendring Council.

Stephen Mayzes, councillor responsible for tourism, said: “The Red Arrows have been regular visitors to our event over the past 20 years and are, without doubt, the highlight of any air show.

“We are absolutely delighted they have confirmed their attendance for August 24 and will be part of an exciting line-up.

“The team is working hard to pull together a spectacular programme, both in the air and on the ground.”

Clacton Air Show usually attracts between 120,000 and 150,000 visitors, but poor weather and the lack of the Red Arrows, meant fewer than 100,000 people attended last year.

Mr Mayzes said the air show is the “signature event” on Tendring’s tourism calendar and a vital boost to the district’s economy.

He added: “In 2011, the council commissioned a report to measure the economic impact the show brings to the area.

“The results were that the added value to the local economy amounted to more than £4million.

“This was the over-riding reason for us that Clacton Air Show will continue.”

Tourism South East, which carried out the study, estimated the total net income generated by the air show last year to the Tendring economy was £3.7million.

Last year’s event cost £64,273 to stage, but the net cost to the taxpayer after income from trade stands was only £542.

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