Two-day plans for airshow are in doubt

Two-day plans for airshow are in doubt

17 January 2018

NEWRY, Mourne and Down Council has confirmed no decision has yet been made on whether this summer’s Festival of Flight in Newcastle will take place over two days.

Council officers had been hoping the budget for the event would be increased to £140,000 to allow this to happen for the first time, but councillors are to make just £122,000 available.

The decision was taken last week when politicians agreed to trim 12 per cent off the proposed budget increases for a number of flagship tourism events to direct additional cash to organisers of community festivals across the district.

Council officials have confirmed they need to study the full impact of the decision to reduce the proposed increased in the Festival of Flight budget to see what can be done, admitting they would still like to see it take place over two days.

Officials say they plan to work alongside the festival’s display director, Rick Peacock-Edwards, and his team of four command and control personnel to see what programme can be delivered within the available budget.

The reappointment of Mr Peacock-Edwards was confirmed at Monday’s meeting of the council’s Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism Committee.

A local authority spokesman said Newry, Mourne and Down Council will engage with the flight director and his team to determine the scope and scale of this year’s event within the budgets available. 

He added: “A paper will then be brought back to the Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism Committee in due course with proposed details of this year’s Festival of Flight.”

It was also revealed this week that local authority officials are looking to develop this summer’s event in partnership with organisers of the Bray International Air show.

Councillors were told a closer partnership is envisaged with work underway to compile a detailed paper on developing links with the air show in Bray which will be made available within the next few weeks.