Windermere air show plan crashes down

The Red Arrows at a previous Windermere air show

The Red Arrows at a previous Windermere air show

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

A PLAN to revive a popular South Lakeland air show has taken a nosedive after potential sponsors pulled out.

Showcase Events have been forced to pull the plug on the Windermere Air Festival after would-be backers – a local merchant bank – withdrew support.

Director Paul Milledge said the sponsor pulled out as a result of comments made in a TV interview by a member of Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trade.

“We were all ready to go but one of the directors of the company that was sponsoring us saw that broadcast and said they wouldn’t do it,” said Mr Milledge.

“We have looked around for other sponsors but we just can’t get them.”

Mr Milledge said Showcase Events had been planning to put all profits into next year’s event.

He added that the company was also intending to open an office in Windermere and employ some local people.

“We’re very sorry that it’s turned out like this because we were really looking forward to this event – it’s a huge disappointment to us that it can’t go ahead.”

The 2014 Windermere Air Festival would have marked a comeback for the weekend-long event after a three-year hiatus.

For 10 years it was organised by Windermere Rotary Club, who then passed it over to Bluestone Events in 2011.

The London-based company ran it as a commercial event which was cancelled after one year following local criticism of the new parking charges and entry fee.

Showcase Events announced in February that it planned to bring the festival back – as a free event – and include a food festival and firework display.

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But the Windermere and Bowness Chamber of Trade’s Secretary/Treasurer Adrian Faulkner raised concerns about the return in a TV broadcast, saying local councils had a covenant that there should not be any commercialisation on the Glebe.

He also said there had not been sufficient dialogue between organisers and local bodies including councils and police, and that the length of time given was ‘not feasible to plan an air show’.

“When the Rotary Club organised the event all the surplus money went into local charities but people are reluctant to sponsor an outside company because the money is not going to good causes,” said Mr Faulkner.

“We’re not trying to put a dampener on it - at some point everybody would love to see the festival come back because it put Windermere and Bowness on the map, but it has to be done in a responsible way and thought through methodically.”

Mr Faulkner also went on to say: “As far as I was concerned the TV interview was a very balanced opinion.

“I believe businesses in the area will be a little saddened that the event will not be taking place and to not have the extra income from it, however they have survived without it and I feel sure they will continue to survive.”

Comments (7)

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12:53pm Thu 15 May 14

Jacqi1 says...

The old saying Mr Faulkner that "If you haven't anything good to say don't say anything at all" should be your mantra. How about you working harder to make the event happen which gave myself, family and friends great pleasure and brought surrounding communities together with pride.
The old saying Mr Faulkner that "If you haven't anything good to say don't say anything at all" should be your mantra. How about you working harder to make the event happen which gave myself, family and friends great pleasure and brought surrounding communities together with pride. Jacqi1
  • Score: 25

2:56pm Thu 15 May 14

Spotty Fish says...

Can't help but wonder if Mr Faulkner had the backing of all the Windermere and Bowness traders when he made this statement. If not, I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the next meeting.
Can't help but wonder if Mr Faulkner had the backing of all the Windermere and Bowness traders when he made this statement. If not, I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the next meeting. Spotty Fish
  • Score: 24

7:23pm Thu 15 May 14

jazzactivist says...

It sounds to me that what Mr Faulkner said was a fairly ordinary thing to say, and shouldn't have offended anyone. If this sponsor company was so easily put off then it couldn't have been really interested in the event anyway. And it wasn't the sponsor but just a go-between for 'a local merchant bank' that would put up the money... all sounds a bit dodgy to me. I think the airshow is better off without such a fickle agent, as it could have spelled trouble for the future. was it going to get offended and pull out of deals every time someone says something it doesn't like?
It sounds to me that what Mr Faulkner said was a fairly ordinary thing to say, and shouldn't have offended anyone. If this sponsor company was so easily put off then it couldn't have been really interested in the event anyway. And it wasn't the sponsor but just a go-between for 'a local merchant bank' that would put up the money... all sounds a bit dodgy to me. I think the airshow is better off without such a fickle agent, as it could have spelled trouble for the future. was it going to get offended and pull out of deals every time someone says something it doesn't like? jazzactivist
  • Score: -16

6:27pm Fri 16 May 14

ab oatman says...

According to the chamber of trade website they only have 3 or 4 regular members and looking through the minutes of the last few meetings the Airshow hasn't even been discussed. Who is Mr Faulkner speaking for?
According to the chamber of trade website they only have 3 or 4 regular members and looking through the minutes of the last few meetings the Airshow hasn't even been discussed. Who is Mr Faulkner speaking for? ab oatman
  • Score: 12

4:06pm Sat 17 May 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Sounds like finding a scapegoat for a dodgy sponsor who didn't pay up. The comments about profiteering from The Glebe reflect many similar comments on this website from people who felt overcharged at the last event. As to putting Bowness and Windermere on the map, they are already on the tourist map as anyone who visits at peak times will know. I myself see and hear enough noisy aircraft flying over the Lakes, so I couldn't care less if it does or doesn't happen. I care about people getting what they are promised however, because overcharging and over-promising give Cumbria a bad name even when the organisers are not based here.
Sounds like finding a scapegoat for a dodgy sponsor who didn't pay up. The comments about profiteering from The Glebe reflect many similar comments on this website from people who felt overcharged at the last event. As to putting Bowness and Windermere on the map, they are already on the tourist map as anyone who visits at peak times will know. I myself see and hear enough noisy aircraft flying over the Lakes, so I couldn't care less if it does or doesn't happen. I care about people getting what they are promised however, because overcharging and over-promising give Cumbria a bad name even when the organisers are not based here. Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Sun 18 May 14

jazzactivist says...

This is an expensive and un-environmental show anyway, and clashes with the emphasis on the Lake District as a natural place to visit. Perhaps learning from this experience of bad sponsors, and creating a show that is more in-keeping with the surroundings would be best. I'm sure people would also flock to see all types of water-based competitions and activities in one show that don't involve throbbing engines and pollution.
This is an expensive and un-environmental show anyway, and clashes with the emphasis on the Lake District as a natural place to visit. Perhaps learning from this experience of bad sponsors, and creating a show that is more in-keeping with the surroundings would be best. I'm sure people would also flock to see all types of water-based competitions and activities in one show that don't involve throbbing engines and pollution. jazzactivist
  • Score: -28

12:51pm Wed 21 May 14

hogheaven says...

jazzactivist wrote:
This is an expensive and un-environmental show anyway, and clashes with the emphasis on the Lake District as a natural place to visit. Perhaps learning from this experience of bad sponsors, and creating a show that is more in-keeping with the surroundings would be best. I'm sure people would also flock to see all types of water-based competitions and activities in one show that don't involve throbbing engines and pollution.
Sorry Jazz I dont think you will get any support again from the usual contributors. Windemere has a history of seaplane manufacture and boat racing be it with engines or sail so its not a new concept. The past air shows were very popular and allowed the younger people to see second world war and present day aircraft. Alas due to the powers that be, who decided we no longer needed the annual speed trials?We have only this spectacle left ,please let it happen.
[quote][p][bold]jazzactivist[/bold] wrote: This is an expensive and un-environmental show anyway, and clashes with the emphasis on the Lake District as a natural place to visit. Perhaps learning from this experience of bad sponsors, and creating a show that is more in-keeping with the surroundings would be best. I'm sure people would also flock to see all types of water-based competitions and activities in one show that don't involve throbbing engines and pollution.[/p][/quote]Sorry Jazz I dont think you will get any support again from the usual contributors. Windemere has a history of seaplane manufacture and boat racing be it with engines or sail so its not a new concept. The past air shows were very popular and allowed the younger people to see second world war and present day aircraft. Alas due to the powers that be, who decided we no longer needed the annual speed trials?We have only this spectacle left ,please let it happen. hogheaven
  • Score: 4

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