Record amount of money raised for Red Arrows display in Sidmouth
PUBLISHED: 18:30 16 September 2017
Around 35,000 spectators flocked to Sidmouth for the Red Arrows display and helped to raise a record amount of money.
In a matter of hours, £14,500 of the £15,000 needed to cover the cost of the event to take place next year was collected from generous visitors supporting the day.
The display took place on Friday, August 25 as part of the Sidmouth regatta weekend.
There were a total of 87 volunteers around the town from various local groups collecting for the event, which has become a big date in the town’s calendar.
Speaking at Sidmouth Town Council’s latest tourism and economy committee meeting, town clerk Chris Holland praised the generosity of those who donated and revealed that plans to arrange another air display for 2018 were already underway.
He added: “We have had a better than ever collection this year, the amount we collected is up considerably compared to last year.
“Fantastic weather and good tides meant people were coming from early morning, staying in Sidmouth all day and setting up on the beach, having barbecues and enjoying themselves. This is exactly what we wanted.”
Mr Holland said they also had collectors at Exeter Airport this year because a lot of people went out to see the planes land and take off for the display.
He said: “With everything collected this year we have just about covered our costs.
“This is a significant event now. Although it only happens in short time scale over the course of a couple of hours, it is a big date in our calendar.”
Mr Holland added that the event had grown to such a size that they now needed to start considering the involvement of some serious event planning to go with some traffic management.
“We are kind of a victim of our own success here,” Mr Holland said.
“The management of the event has been overseen by the police up until now and although they are happy to do this, from my point of view as a responsible council, we need to invest in the management of the event, although this will incur a cost, which we will need to consider next year.
“I don’t want this to take away from what a success it has been however. This is good news and we would like to thank everyone for their hard work.”