The famous aerobatics team will display at the Angus town’s festival to honour servicemen and women past and present, thanks to an online crowdfunding campaign.
It’s been eleven years since the Royal Air Force Aerobatics Team last performed in the skies above Arbroath, but a locally-organised fundraising campaign has secured enough funding to bring the Red Arrows back to the town.
The Crowdfunder campaign has raised £14,313 of its original £13,000 goal, with a £3,000 ‘stretch target’ now required to cover the insurance and sundries for the event.
In addition to the display, Arbroath’s Festival of Heroes will host a parade for the armed forces and emergency services, as well as an awards ceremony for local heroes. The event, held on Saturday June 4, will culminate in a gala day celebration at the town’s seafront.
Event Chairman Jamie Buchan said: “I’m a member of the Arbroath Round Table, having organised many events locally in the past. My colleagues and I came across a public call for Festival volunteers, so we went for it.
“I wanted to make our own event for charity based in Arbroath instead of ticking off a checklist from previous years. We were looking to do something better than the town’s Seafront Spectacular, which was lasted hosted in 2011.”
With 64 backers thus far, the project has just four days left to raise approximately £10k. Jamie expects crowds of up to 10,000 people to attend the free-to-enter show, providing the funding to run it can be secured in time.
The event committee were recently visited by Red Arrows Flight Lieutenant Stew Campbell - who pilots the Red 8 aircraft in the 2016 team - to discuss issues of health and safety.
“My colleagues on the Arbroath Round Table including Jill Howie really helped this happen. We started in November 2015 and have raised so much money already”, Jamie added.
The inaugural event has also been supported by Specsavers, who gave a donation of £9,000 towards securing the Red Arrows for the event as a surprise for the team.
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Demonstrations and displays will also be provided by the RNLI, Scottish Fire Service and the British Army during the one-day event, with a minute’s silence to be held in commemoration of veterans.
In addition to the aerial display, the town’s traditional Armed Forces and Emergency Services Parade from Arbroath Abbey to Victoria Park will return due to public demand.
The winners of the Local Hero award for Civilians and Armed Forces/Services will also be presented with their accolade on the day, with nominees put forward by public vote before the start of the event.
Those who wish to donate or learn more about the Festival of Heroes can do so via their Crowdfunder page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.