A DRIVE to bag more backers for this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival has been launched.

The Air Festival Patrons 100 Club aims to sign up 100 members to help support the event, which takes place at the end of August.

The patrons scheme, which has been running for several years, sees businesses and individuals pay £250 in support of the festival, in return receiving invites to social events and other perks, including an online listing and an appearance in the air festival brochure.

On Tuesday evening, the first event of this year was held at the East Cliff Court Hotel, hosted by Air Festival Ambassador, David Bailey.

The scheme aims to fund the three evenings of Night Air displays and also supports this year’s charities, which are the Jon Egging Trust, British Lung Foundation, The Not Forgotten Association and Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity David said: “Last year was such a great success, with monthly events and guest speakers, we’ve decide to keep the same format but give ourselves the challenge of hitting the 100 target.

“We hope our monthly evenings are an incentive to encourage businesses and individuals to join. We have more than 25 members so far and we really hope we get to that magic 100 number.”

This year sees the Royal Marines celebrate 350 years and with this in mind, Lieutenant Colonel Simon O’Herlihy was the first guest speaker for this season’s patrons evenings.

He said: “The patrons evening was a superb opportunity for me to not only talk about RM350 but showcase the Royal Marines, who we are and what we do.

“The patrons are really passionate about the air festival and the forces who come and support this great event, it was a pleasure to attend and represent the Marines.”

To find out more visit bournemouthair.co.uk or email amy.habgood@bournemouth.gov.uk