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BREAKING: Sunderland Airshow 2022 cancelled as Covid forces Council to “rethink” on events

The City Council has announced the much loved Sunderland Airshow will not be going ahead this year due to the ongoing uncertainty created by the Covid pandemic.

By Neil Fatkin
Tuesday, 11th January 2022, 2:14 pm

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The annual event sees thousands of people gather on Roker seafront to enjoy a weekend of air displays as well as ground based events from the RAF, Army and Royal Navy.

Attracting up to a million visitors across the airshow’s weekend, the iconic event has been running since 1988.

Unfortunately the event was cancelled last year due to the ongoing Covid crisis and the Council has today (January 11) confirmed that continued uncertainty due to the pandemic makes it impossible for them to commit to hosting this year’s event.

The red arrows perform at the 2018 Sunderland Airshow.

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Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Graeme Miller, said: "We know from our own experience and that of other event organisers over the last 22 months just how difficult Covid makes it to plan for events, particularly when it comes to large scale events with a long lead in time such as the Sunderland Airshow."Because of the nature of the airshow and the infrastructure and contracts that need to be put in place to support it, we have reached the stage where we would need to commit now to allow the event to go ahead this summer which we just don’t feel able to do that at the moment.

"It simply doesn’t make financial sense at this point in time to make such a commitment given the current uncertainty around the pandemic and the fact that we don’t where we are likely to be with Covid come the summer.”

The cancellation is part of a wider process of the Council “rethinking” the events on offer due to the impact of the Covid pandemic and as part of a consultation process with local residents which took place last August.

Crowds gather at Roker seafront.

The Let's Talk consultation focused around seeking residents’ views both on existing events and the type of events they would like to see in the future.Despite what will no doubt come as disappointing news for many people, the Council vowed to continue to host viable events and will be “announcing new events soon”.

Cllr Miller added: “Residents can rest assured that events remain as important to this city as ever as our own events programme and those of our partners continue to grow and evolve, attracting exciting new events which appeal to residents and visitors alike.“We also recognise that it’s vital to listen to residents and to refresh our events programme from time to time which is why we held our Let's Talk events consultation in the summer to give residents the opportunity to give their views on our events programme and the type of new events they would like to see in our city.

“We know that residents are keen for there to be new and different events in the city and ones that they can take part in as well as attend with family and friends.

"This is also in line with the ambitions set out in our City Plan around more people getting physically active. So we’d urge people to keep an eye out for details of exciting new events which will be announced in coming months.”

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