THE organisers of Southend’s new airshow say they need to raise a final £70,000 or it will be cancelled.
The first ever Southend Airshow and Military Festival is hoped to take place on September 6 and 7 after a campaign by Save Southend Airshow, backed by the Echo.
Organisers have revealed they have raised £150,000 so far, but have to raise the rest by the end of March.
The regular summer airshow was scrapped last year when Southend Council withdrew its funding, but it is being revived for 2014 with the promise it will be bigger and better than ever.
John Delaney, who with fellow volunteer Tom Curtis has been the driving force behind bringing the event back, said: “This is such an important aspect of whether it will happen or not.
“If we don’t get the £70,000, then the airshow won’t happen.
“It’s make or break. This is our last push for funding.
We’ve done literally all we can and we’re proud of what we have achieved, but the clock has been ticking since we began.”
The airshow community interest company has already raised or has agreements in place for £150,000.
The search for sponsors continues, but so far includes Teddy Station, in Southend, which has supplied the Airshow Bear mascot, Goldwyns accountants, BTMK, Billericay IT, Candi Entertainment, the Skylark Hotel, Thames Towage, and Urban Design & Print.
Southend Airport is assisting with a number of services for free, or at cost as a supporter.
Mr Curtis said: “The 2012 budget for the airshow was in the region of £300,000.
Through our sponsors and efficiency savings we’ve cut down the amount needed dramatically.
“Our original intention was simply to raise awareness about the event that we loved and one that is so important to our town. The Southend Airshowwas a hallmark event for the town. It truly put Southend on the map and it can do once again.”
The sponsorship brochure is now available for companies who want to get involved and can be downloaded from www.southendairshow.co.uk For individuals to donate, an online sponsorship page would have to be set up with another organisation as the community interest company cannot use such a format.