The mayor of Teignmouth says he has no doubts whatsoever that a proposed airshow for Teignmouth and Dawlish for 2018 will happen – and it could provide a £3m boost to the economy.
Early stages of negotiations around a two day event at the back end of the summer of 2018 have begun, with the aim being to hold the airshow in Teignmouth on Saturday, August 25, and then the following day in Dawlish.
Up to 150,000 people are expected to be attracted into the towns for the events which could bring economic boosts of around £3milllion to the economy.
The initial outlay for the first year of the event could cost around £150,000, but Cllr Paul Burgess, the mayor of Teignmouth, said they would hope to cover the costs of the displays through corporate sponsorship and that the event would not go ahead unless it was certain to break event.
The long-running Dawlish Airshow was grounded in 2016 and 2017 as the organisers felt they needed to take a break and that the event couldn’t be financed respectively, but it is hoped that a two day airshow across the two towns could be held in 2018.
The organising committee consists of a many members of previous Dawlish Airshows plus additional expertise from business people from the two towns and although it is currently only in its initial planning stages, the Dawlish and Teignmouth Airshow has received enthusiastic responses from both Town Councils and has developed a business model which will allow for sustainability for years to come.
Tracy Scranage, Town Centre Development Manager said: “Organising a two town centre Airshow allows us for the first time to develop new and exciting areas of interest, ranging from specific themes for our young people, to Corporate Entertaining facilities and VIP areas.
“The outline plan is to run two Airshow days in August next year, one day in Dawlish and the Warren and the other in Teignmouth. Some air displays will be common to both towns and others, specific to one town.
“Funding will be gained through numerous sources and we are trying to involve businesses from all sectors of the community and further afield.
“Bringing a much needed financial boost to both towns, the new style Airshow has as its main ethos to be an inclusive community event. Bringing both communities closer together in a joint project such as this will, in my opinion give both towns the opportunity to enjoy a weekend of joint entertainment and community cohesiveness.”
An emergency Teignmouth town council meeting was arranged for last Tuesday night to discuss the proposal and to decide whether the council should financially lack the scheme, but a decision on that was deferred until September when a more detailed report about the costings would be available.
The meeting heard that insurance costs would be between £25,000 and £30,000, but that the former Dawlish Airshow committee did hold around £35,000 in reserves.
A community interest company would be formed to run the display if the final go-ahead was given.
Cllr Burgess added: “The support of the public was overwhelming and they all talked about how great it would be. I have no doubt whatsoever about the success of a potential airshow and I would be very surprised if this didn’t happen.
“It would be a major event for the area with 150,000 people able to watch the event. We are trying to finance the event through sponsorship alone and we hope to have a clear business plan so that all the money is raised before the event but it is onwards and upwards.”
Concerns at the meeting were raised about possible traffic congestion in thetowns, but it was said that a park and ride scheme, probably operating out of Bishopsteignton would be used.
Cllr Doug Hellier Laing, Teignbridge Council’s executive member for Economy, Skills and Tourism, said that the district council could also help to finance the event.
He told Devon Live: “I like the proposal, and will support their proposition if I can, but qualifying that we at Teignbridge do not have a big chunk of money but I believe we might be able to help.
“I like the ideas about sponsorship and made a few suggestions where in the past I know big organisations have donated for community projects.
“Depending on any submission to Teignbridge, which has to be a sound business proposition along with a fully-costed plan showing the potential outgoings along with promised sponsorship, and then I am prepared to take the proposition to the Executive and Senior officers for consideration.”
A decision on whether Teignmouth town council would provide finance for the event was deferred until September when a more detailed report about the costings would be available.