East Strand is new location for Air Show


An additional £30,000 will be spent on the Portrush Air Show this year as it undergoes a major revamp.

Councillors attending last Tuesday’s Leisure and Environment meeting were told that the event is to become ‘more than just a flying display’.

Adjectives such as ‘tired’ and ‘weak’ had been used to describe the now annual event at Portrush, but at Tuesday’s meeting, members agreed to use RAF Waddington’s Airshow team to reinvigorate the Portrush event.

The new East Strand location along with new branding the show as ‘Air Waves’ was also agreed by the members.

Members heard from Squadron Leader Paul Sall, Director of the Waddington Show, he pointed out that organisers ‘could do more to make the Portrush event more impactful.’

Mr Sall added that ‘Air Waves’ would be used to promote the area as a tourist attraction and be a ‘signature event’ for Coleraine Borough Council.

Improvements to the event will include more ground entertainment and the use of digital media to promote interaction with those attending the event.

Richard Baker, Council’s Corporate Director of Leisure added: “We’ve had the Air Show for 11 years and it is tired in the format it is. Here we have a clear opportunity to add quality to it.”

Members welcomed the additional spend to revamp the event.

DUP councillor Sam Cole said: “ We need something with a wow factor.”

Deputy Mayor Mark Fielding welcomed the move to East Strand, “The move to East Stand will help the traders of the town, it certainly has potential.”

SDLP councillor Stephanie Quigley, a mother of five welcomed the revamp describing the changes to the format as ‘exciting’.

Independent councillor Claire Sugden agreed that the event in its current format was ‘tired and weak’, but said: “The re branding will create a real buzz. It is an investment for the Borough.”