SUGGESTIONS of a Green Grand Prix on the streets of Bournemouth have been welcomed by residents and a town centre councillor – although it appears there is no appetite for the event to replace the air festival.

Plans for the climate friendly car race are being drawn up, with Unity Alliance administration councillor Simon McCormack describing the concept as ‘intriguing’.

Cllr McCormack said he had raised the idea with colleagues, while the group behind the concept are hoping to hold preliminary talks with officers and political leaders at BCP Council to gauge their view on the plan.

Bournemouth central ward councillor Mike Greene said he had not been involved in any discussions for such an event to date, but he gave a positive initial response to the concept when contacted by the Daily Echo.

“We did have the Wheels Festival until three or four years ago and it did not quite take off in the way we hoped it would,” said Cllr Greene.

“Certainly I would love to see more events in the town centre. I am intrigued to see a Green Grand Prix given the success Formula E seems to be enjoying at the moment.

“We would obviously need to ensure the needs of residents are balanced against tourists.

“I certainly would not see it as a replacement for the air festival.

“It is not going to bring a million people to the town to support tourism and support the leisure industries here in the way that the air festival does.

“It wouldn’t be a replacement to that but I would be very keen to see some of the details.”

Discussing the challenges, Cllr Greene added: “It would need to look very carefully at the route and make sure needs of residents and non-tourism businesses are balanced against those of tourism.”

Following initial reports in the Daily Echo yesterday, residents largely appeared supportive of the idea to bring something different to the area.

Writing on Facebook, one reader said: "The most southerly and westerly major motor racing held in the UK that isn't Wales Rally GB is held at Thruxton and Brands Hatch. Something on the south coast would attract from Devon, Cornwall, Hampshire. Perfect. And street circuits are usually pretty exciting."

Another said: "It may be a little inconvenient for us that live here, but as someone who's grown up knowing where the wealth of this town comes from, any idea that promotes and encourages others to visit this great part of the world gets my approval."

As reported, this summer's events schedule has been axed due to coronavirus. Big events would be key to launching a post-pandemic business recovery, one reader said. He added: "We need all the tourism we can get once this is all over. But you need to keep the air show, its a proven crowd puller already."