From the Northern Echo

PLANS to bring back a popular air show could being dropped after organisers ran out of cash.

Bosses at Durham Tees Valley Airport hoped to bring back the show for the first time since 1989, with displays from the Red Arrows and Tornado and Falcons Parachute demonstration teams.

But tonight (Wednesday, February 6), Colin Granton, chairman of the Friends of Durham Tees Valley Airport, said the group had to find £30,000 by Friday, February 8 after missing out on key investment and sponsorship.

The show is due to take place on Saturday, June 22.

He said: “This was something we really wanted to do, but it is now in real jeopardy because we are short on investment.

“We have raised £35,000, but it has been extremely difficult to attract companies and councils to support the show.

“We have a meeting on Friday, February 8 to discuss the situation, and that will be a last-ditch attempt to keep the air show going.

“If we can’t find the money we won’t be able to run it, which would be a real shame.

“We have put in so much work and so many hours, but times are hard and businesses say they just don’t have the cash to invest.”

Mr Granton, a private pilot, revealed the proposals in November last year, and said he believed a show at the airport, near Darlington, would provide a strong boost to the North-East economy and could even rival Sunderland International Air Show.

He said: “This would be massive for the area and everyone who we have spoken to wants to see the air show back.

“It could certainly rival Sunderland, not on scale, but on the impact visitors would get from seeing planes, helicopters, and aerobatic teams flying past at great speed and in closer proximity.

“The hotels, restaurants and bars would also benefit because people come from far and wide to watch these shows.

“But if it doesn’t happen this year, we are committed to trying to get an air show back at the airport in 2014.”