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Terrorism concerns addressed as preparations for Great Yarmouth Air Show 2018 progress

A flashback picture of the launch of the Great Yarmouth air show set for June 2017.
The Mayor of Great Yarmouth Malcolm Bird waving to the Twister Duo.

Picture: James Bass

A flashback picture of the launch of the Great Yarmouth air show set for June 2017. The Mayor of Great Yarmouth Malcolm Bird waving to the Twister Duo. Picture: James Bass

Concerns over terrorism have moved on enough to allow plans for a new air show to progress.

The Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTBIA) representing businesses in the resort is hoping to put on the first two day aerial display next year.

It was cancelled earlier this year namely because of concerns over terrorism after the attacks in Nice and at a Berlin Christmas market, which involved lorries driving into crowds of pedestrians.

Chairman of the GYTBIA, Gareth Brown, said threats escalated just at the time when they were going to start signing contracts for the 2017 event.

MORE: New air show moves step closer after Great Yarmouth Borough Council backs measures

There were also concerns about protecting a colony of nesting little terns and also an increase in the cost of medical cover.

He added: “It just took time to work through all those different concerns to understand how we can target them, which we have since been able to do.”

Mr Brown, who is also general manager at Haven Holiday Park at Caister, said an announcement will be made in early November to say if the resort’s first air show will go ahead.

He added: “At the end of the day, as most people in this country agree, we’re not going to be kowtowed by terrorism.

“We will take the advice and follow the guidelines.”

COMMENT: Are we taking the threat of terrorism too seriously?

The GYBITA visited the South West coast earlier this year on a fact finding mission and spoke to organisers of the Bournemouth Air Show.

The aerial display brings in £300m for the Dorset resort and 1.1m people to the town.

It is hoped the first air show in Yarmouth could attract 200,000 people and boost the local economy by £10m.

Councillors on Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s policy and resources committee agreed to lend the authority’s support for the event scheduled for next year.

Despite the event being organised by GYTBIA, which is independent of the council and paid for by a levy on businesses in the borough, councillors asked for a fuller picture of any legal implications of the local authority’s involvement in case anything went wrong.

A report will now being prepared for the next committee meeting following legal advice.

Council officers warned if the airshow did not take place again there will be risk of damage to the council’s reputation by association.

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