Airbourne 2008 News Release

Airbourne 2008 News Release

Airbourne International Airshow

Organisers of the world's biggest seafront airshow admit their introduction of a 5 spectator charge didn't pay off as they count a 170k operational loss for this year's Airbourne.

Costs for running this year's event included 10k on fencing plus a significant fee from Sussex Police at 100k for policing Airbourne. These costs together with the Council's underachieved income target mean that Council bosses are looking at a loss.

With visitors voting with their feet, it means that Eastbourne Borough Council failed to meet their projected profit target of 191k and this figure added to the 170k loss on operational costs means that Airbourne organisers are facing a 360k shortfall.

The decision to bring in a spectator charge was made earlier this year as all other avenues of generating income to cover the mounting costs have been exhausted; including trade stands being commercially tested, programme sales scrutinised to maximise advertising and income opportunities, and over 1,000 sponsorship leads explored. Eastbourne Borough Council decided to make the previously free event a charged show, genuinely believing that people would pay to watch the spectacular four day airshow.

Actual visitor attendance in the charged zone stood at 48,000 for this year's Airbourne, short of predicted numbers.

As the whole country feels the pinch of the credit crunch with everyday living costs rising and fuel costs mounting, coupled with competing against the Beijing Olympics, the cost of staging such a fantastic airshow and surpassing spectator expectations has risen. Organisers had to factor in the rising costs of fuel and the increase in RAF fees against the need to put on a great show and this resulted in a 42k additional spend on displays for this year's event.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor David Tutt has ordered a review of the event looking for ways to restructure Airbourne for 2009 so that Council Tax payers do not have to meet the cost.

The deficit for this year's Airbourne will be met through the Council's existing budgets. The budget is made up by a number of elements with some budgets exceeding expectations whilst other budgets fall short. There will be no need to cut expenditure or ask council tax payers to meet the shortfall.

Next year's Airbourne has been pencilled in from 13-16 August 2009 and Eastbourne Borough Council will be consulting with various partners and traders involved in the show to ensure that lessons are learnt from this year's event.

Airbourne fans can keep up to date with the latest event news online at www.eastbourneairshow.co.uk and www.visiteastbourne.com .





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