The news that RAF Scampton could be the home of Lincolnshire’s Air Show has been met with a positive response as there are hopes it will boost tourism and visitors to Gainsborough.
The RAF confirmed in September that Waddington International Air Show, which attracts thousands of visitors from across the region to the base, will not return as “security threats” increase.
Lord Howe, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, has written to Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh, to confirm that RAF Scampton could be the home of the county’s Air Show as early as 2017.
With operational activity and increased security threats the Air Show at RAF Waddington, south of Lincoln, has come to an end and it will not be possible in the future, the minister confirms.
But looking toward retaining the air show within the county the minister writes: “Careful consideration has been given to an alternative venue in Lincolnshire which could host an annual RAF air show in future there may be potential to hold an air show at RAF Scampton but this will not be possible until 2017 at the earliest.”
Sir Edward said: “I am grateful to the minister taking the time to update me on the current position. I will continue to press the case for RAF Scampton to be made the future home of the county’s air show. As the home of the respected Red Arrows squadron, and with its proximity to the Lincolnshire Showground, I think that it could make an ideal location; particularly if security concerns require an off-base location for much of the public areas of a show.”
Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Coun Jeff Summers, said: “This is really good news. West Lindsey District Council has ambitious plans to support our tourism sector and we really want to see it develop, grow and flourish.
“To have an RAF Air Show in the district would have real knock on effects for our tourism industry. As a council we stand ready to assist to help make this happen.”
Mayor of Gainsborough, Coun Matthew Boles, said: “Firstly this is great news for Lincolnshire, to keep an air show in the county was hugely important but for it to now be in West Lindsey and on Gainsborough’s door step is fantastic news for the local area.
“As a Town Council we are committed to supporting our tourism sector locally and we really want to see it develop and prosper, for the benefit of the town and wider area. To have this RAF Air Show on our doorstep would have massive knock on effects for our town in many different way including tourism and the economy.”