Margate's big event has been one of the years highlights and this year for the first time has also injected a healthy amount of cash from visitors myself included with the move to the centre of the town. It has been estimated by Thanet Council that somewhere in the region of 80,000 people enjoyed the weekends event, which included the air show, music and firework display, funfair, Margate raft race, Airfix model making, Punch and Judy etc., this of course coupled with some of the other delights that Margate has to offer the the Harbour Arm Margate Museum the world class Turner Contemporary, the old town, area plus much improved cafes and restaurants and pubs.
Without a doubt the move into the town centre had the benefit of seeing money spent in the town rather than just with traders at the event itself as was the case in previous years not noted as being a big spender, myself I estimate that over the two days I spent around £30 in the town, of which most was spent with local business, if you were to make a crude calculation based on my spending, multiplied by 80,000 people, that would mean 2.5 million pounds spent with local traders.
A couple of excerpts from from TDC
Press release Marketing Dept. "Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “What a fantastic event! It was wonderful to see so many people turn out over the weekend braving the elements and was a great example of true British spirit! We had thousands of people in Margate, many from all over the South East, and many of those visiting for the first time. From our point of view the new location worked brilliantly and helped to showcase exactly what Margate, the original seaside, has to offer. We know from speaking with local businesses that hosting the event on the seafront had a positive impact, which is exactly what we hoped to achieve. I’d like to thank everyone who worked so hard to pull off what was another great ‘big event’, to our sponsors Hornby for their help and support and most of all to thank everyone who came along to enjoy it”.
Darrell Burge, Marketing Manager for Airfix, said: "It was tremendous to be involved as the main sponsor of this year's show. We had almost 1,000 families come through our make-and-paint area of the marquee experiencing the joys of Airfix modelling, and our staff were run ragged by the sheer volume of people. Everyone though, both the public and staff from Hornby, had great smiles on their faces with some of the fantastic creations built during the weekend. It was brilliantly rewarding for all of us and we look forward to being back in 2012."
The new location is a vindication of those who like me have over the years supported the event but criticised the location and proof that eventually councillors do listen and as a result, we all benefit. Even in the rain couldn't, ruin the day, as you could, like I did seek refuge in shops and cafes.
The air show is of course centre stage of the Big Event but the best part is having a relaxed day out with the family, the highlight for me was accompanying my granddaughter on her first visit to the Big Event and sharing a cake with her, the Vulcan good as it was came a distant 2nd.
Finally it would be disingenuous not to praise all those who have worked on the event over the last few years, it was great from the start and has just got better, well done and Thank you!