Organisers of the Lowestoft Air Show have announced that the event held in June will almost certainly be its last.
The event - which relies on donations from visitors - failed to raise enough cash to make it a viable proposition for next year.
Poor weather has been blamed for a drastic loss of income. in a press release issued today the organisers said: "In fact it was only because the organisers had a small wet weather contingency reserve fund that all the costs for the event could just be met at all – leaving the reserves at rock bottom."
Managing Director Paul Brayfield said he regretted having to take the decision.
– Lowestoft Air Show Managing Director Paul Brayfield
It is with much regret and a lot of sadness that I have to report that we do not have sufficient funds to go ahead with an Air Show next year. The event has been running for sixteen years and has only survived that long because of the wonderful support that has been forthcoming. Unfortunately this year we have become another victim of the vagaries of the British weather.
In 2004 a social enterprise company Lowestoft Sea Front Air Festival Ltdwas set up to take over the event which had previously been organised byWaveney District Council. When the not for profit company took on the event Itwas intent on it being run by the community for the benefit of the community.
The show costs around £300,000 every year to stage, but even new initiatives such as offering visitors an event programme with redeemable vouchers to the value of over £170 inside, for a £3 fee failed to generate enough revenue.
This year the show was staged at a weekend - the first time in its 16 year history that it has been held over a weekend.
But despite breaking records for attendance fees on the Saturday, the Sunday was rained out and only a third of expected visitors showed up.
A total of £85,000 was collected at the entrances over the weekend,
Organisers are still hoping something can be done to save the show. They have until the end of September, when bids for RAF aircraft have to be submitted - to find a financial backer.
The leader of Waveney District Council, Cllr Colin Law, said he was shocked at the news that Lowestoft Air Show was to end.
– CLLR COLIN LAW
I am shocked to hear the announcement from the Air Show Organising Committee and it would be a very great shame if the event was to be cancelled.
However I know that work will continue to save the event and I personally believe that no stone will be left unturned by Paul Bayfield and his team.
This is one of the town's great events and I imagine it will not disappear without a very great struggle