Bournemouth Air Festival sponsorship bids invited by council

People watching the Red Arrows over Bournemouth beach
The Bournemouth Air Festival will not be subsidised by the council after 2024

A council has invited sponsors for an annual air festival, after previously announcing it will no longer subsidise the event.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council's contribution will end after the 2024 event.

It confirmed that the festival will be held over three days this year, from 29-31 August.

The authority also set a deadline of 1 March for bids for a five-year contract to run the festival from 2025.

Red Arrows
The Red Arrows will be missing from this year's event due to "overseas commitments"

Previously BCP Council said the 2024 event would not be held unless it attracted £100,000 from sponsors and donors.

The Liberal-Democrat led authority capped this year's subsidy at £200,000, as it tried to find £41m of savings to balance the 2024-25 budget.

It previously said it was hoping to book "alternative multi-jet and fast-jet display teams" to replace the Red Arrows, who will be absent in August due to "overseas commitments".

Deputy council leader Millie Earl added: "This is a hugely exciting opportunity to run, grow and shape an impactful event that has made a significant contribution to the local tourism economy over its remarkable 16-year history."

Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood previously said the "largest free air show in the country" drew in more than £500,000 a year.

The Conservative MP launched a campaign to "save" the festival, through a petition and sponsorship appeal.

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