Army advances

Miss Scarborough Leanne Wilford looks forward to the day.'112559f.
Miss Scarborough Leanne Wilford looks forward to the day.'112559f.

ARMED Forces Day in Scarborough will be a week ahead of the rest of the country, it has been confirmed.

The official 2012 date will be on Saturday, June 30, but in Scarborough it will be on Saturday, June 23, in a bid to attract the best displays to the Yorkshire Coast.

Rowena Marsden, a project officer with Scarborough Council, said: “We decided to move the date for Scarborough’s Armed Forces Day forward by a week to allow us the best chance of securing the kind of displays people have told us they want to see in the town.

“Planning for next year’s event has started in earnest and we are excited at the prospects in store. Hopefully this Armed Forces Day will be another incredible success for Scarborough and the local economy, and a fitting tribute to the men and women who serve or have served in the United Kingdom Armed Forces.”

It will be the fourth such event in Scarborough and aims to recognise the dedication and sacrifice of Britain’s military.

Organisers from the council are hoping that the event will attract more than 15,000 visitors to the seafront where there will be displays, stalls, parades and games in honour of military personnel.

This year’s Armed Forces Day event, on Saturday June 25, included an aeronautical display by The Blades team, a joint sea exercise between HMS Explorer, Scarborough Lifeboat and an RAF Sea King helicopter and parade along the seafront.

According to council research, of the out of town visitors, more than one fifth stayed for at least one night in Scarborough – with an average stay of 3.5 nights.

The average time spent at the event was five hours and almost half of those interviewed were first-time visitors to Armed Forces Day in Scarborough.

A council spokesman said: “The direct impact on the Scarborough economy of this year’s Armed Forces Day was calculated to be more than £160,000, with estimates suggesting that rose as high as £324,000 with the knock-on economic impact taken into account.”

Next year’s event will be hosted and organised by Scarborough Council, in partnership with the Heroes Welcome initiative and South Bay Traders Association, with financial support from the Ministry of Defence and the council.