BUSINESSES have come forward offering to partially fund the Bournemouth Air Festival next year. 

Several unnamed businesses and organisations have been in discussions with BCP Council to contribute to the popular show. 

As reported, the event has been slashed to just three days, and will only go ahead if £100,000 is raised outside of the council. 

The authority has said it will contribute £200,000 in 2024 but, cut all funding from 2025.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Cllr Andy Martin, portfolio holder for culture, said: “One of the most important things is that we have a proactive and robust approach to finding sponsorship in the private sector.

Bournemouth Echo: Red Arrows earlier this yearRed Arrows earlier this year

“I do believe there are people out there – and I've heard some extraordinary names of people at organisations that would help, but I won’t name them. 

“It hasn’t changed much since 2008 and it’s a huge opportunity for the air festival to be something else in 2025 – not dismissing aeroplanes completely, but actually something that’s about innovation. 

Read more: Bournemouth Air Festival will return in 2024 if money is raised

"I will be meeting with a representative of a nationally and soon-to-be internationally renowned virtual reality company who have expressed an interest to do something with us in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole next year and the year after.” 

Bournemouth Echo:

Council leader Vikki Slade said: “Since the announcement that we were looking at this, we have had businesses and individuals come forward. 

“We’ve had people who have said they will gladly pay admission and now is the time to put your money where your mouth is.

Read more: Red Arrows will NOT return to Bournemouth Air Festival

“This gives us the opportunity to say if people do not put their money where their mouth is, then we know what the outcome is.” 

Cllr Richard Burton added: “I believe that the people who enjoy it and make money out of it should pay for it, not the local authority.” 

Bournemouth Echo:

However, Cllr Andy Hadley, portfolio holder for the environment, failed to agree with the festival continuing next year, saying it is “not sitting with the climate emergency”. 

He added: “The air show has been a great spectacle, but the right decision now is to call a stop. We've promised to return to the basics and this is not essential spend.” 

Cllr Mike Cox, portfolio holder for finance said that if the £100k was not raised by the time the council is due to start spending for 2024’s air festival, it will not go ahead. 

Cllr Slade concluded: “My door is open to any local, national or international business who would like to come in and work with us. We are really keen to hear from you. Please do not wait to be called, call us.”