Torbay’s Overview and Scrutiny Board will be considering a Spotlight Review of the English Riviera Airshow.

Torbay Council has delivered the Airshow every year since 2016 (except 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic and poor weather), as well as underwriting the costs, but the escalating costs of putting on the event - coupled with the fact the Airshow has not generated as much income through sponsorship and advertising as anticipated - means that a new approach is needed.

The Spotlight Review will assess the Airshow’s value for money, the financial contribution required by the Council, and the community and economic benefits.

Councillor Adam Billings, Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, said: "Torbay Council, through its English Riviera Destination Management Plan, has committed to enabling a range of events, and we know that the Airshow is an established, popular and well attended event.

“Survey work undertaken by the Council indicates the Airshow has delivered a good return on investment, bringing into our local Torbay economy over £15 for each £1 the Council has spent on the Airshow. The work also indicates 96% of respondents to a feedback survey said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the event. However, the costs of putting on the Airshow have gone up significantly.

“Therefore, we think it is only right that we take a fresh look at the event’s future. We have a lot of competing demands for Council resources so it’s important that we look at the most effective ways of using local taxpayers' money.

“As part of the Review, the Board will be asked to consider four potential options in relation to the future of the Airshow. Because of this we can’t comment any further until after the Board meets and makes its recommendations to Cabinet.”

The four options are:

  • Option 1: Torbay Council continues to run the English Riviera Airshow as it has been doing for the past few years
  • Option 2: Torbay Council to partner with another (not for profit) organisation to enable it to run the Airshow
  • Option 3: Cancel the Airshow and put the money that would have been spent on it into running other local events
  • Option 4: Cancel the Airshow and put the money that would have been spent on it into other Council services.

A decision on the future of the English Riviera Airshow will be made by the Cabinet at its meeting on 15 August 2023, based on one of these options recommended at the OSB meeting on 8 August 2023.

News archive