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Weston Air Festival will not return in 2023

Weston Air Festival (Image: P. Harrison)

Weston Air Festival (Image: P. Harrison)

Weston Air Festival, the popular free airshow held at Weston Super Mare will not return in 2023 after the county council said it could not afford the subsidy needed to run the show.

The event needs a subsidy of £135,000 which North Somerset Council said it could not justify during the current economic climate.

A spokesperson for the council said: “We don’t feel this is reasonable at a time of cost of living pressures on our budgets and those of households.

“We are always open to new events for visitors but we are no longer in a position to routinely subsidise these at the expense of taxpayers,”

The event has always drawn large numbers to the seaside town but local traders have claimed that the majority of the boost in revenue goes to visiting stallholders not local businesses.

Speaking to the BBC local councillor Mike Bell said that the council had been struggling for years due to rising costs and a lack of aircraft available for display but said: “it isn’t a case of never again, but it isn’t feasible right now. 

“The council faces extra costs of more than £33m next year due to energy cost pressures, inflation, social care, children’s services and waste service demands. 

“We just cannot do everything and some things have to give way,”

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