Hotels and pubs eager for business boost with return of Cosford Air Show

Hospitality businesses near Cosford have welcomed the return of its famous air show which is set to give a major boost to the Shropshire economy.

The RAF Cosford Air Show will be back in 2022 for the first time in three years
The RAF Cosford Air Show will be back in 2022 for the first time in three years

With the impact of Covid hopefully receding, pubs and hotels are looking forward to an uplift in bookings and sales as the crowds of up to 50,000 people return to the venue near Shifnal on Sunday, June 12, for the first time in three years.

"It's always been a good one for us," said Katie Hughes, at the Shrewsbury Arms gastro pub, in High Street, Albrighton.

"With Covid we're not absolutely sure what might happen but the air show is a great boost for us in terms of trade.

"We do get a lot of people from the village and coming from far and wide. I think it will provide a great boost for the area and it is nice for the businesses. It is definitely the biggest local event since the V fest was taken away, and then there is the food festival at Cosford, too.

"We always try to do something to make the weekend - you can sit in the garden and watch the air show from here; and we have people can go there and come here afterwards." They can provide for 250 covers on a Saturday night.

Jo Phillips, at the family-owned Hundred House Hotel in Bridgnorth Road, Norton, said: "We do see a bit of an influx for the air show being only 20 minutes away.

The Hundred House is set to see a booster from the Cosford Air Show

"We normally have quite a few people dropping by for Sunday lunch and we are looking forward to welcoming people again this year."

Jo breathed a sigh of relief over the earlier date as they are fully booked with weddings over the summer. They had to postpone 120 weddings over the course of pandemic restrictions but that weekend has good availability in the 10-room and 70-cover restaurant.

Meanwhile Tom and Eloise Sutton have been running the Anvil Inn, at Aston Road, in Shifnal for three years and can fit 100 people inside and another 60 or 70 people in the garden. Tom is looking forward to welcoming more customers.

Tom said: "Touch wood we are really doing well at the moment and are busier than ever. People are venturing out a lot more."

The pub has a real ale focus, with nine ales on offer plus an offering of basic bar food like crusty cobs.

The air show attracts crowds of people of all ages

Councillor Paul Williamson, the chair and mayor of Shifnal Town Council, said: "It is an annual event that has been missed. Local hotels, pubs and restaurants will get a boost and I know they look forward to it, it is a big weekend for them."

Councillor Williamson added: "It always creates a bit of a problem with traffic but the organisers do try to encourage people to travel by train and it is really easy to do that from Shrewsbury or the other end at Wolverhampton. But not everybody can do that."

Born-and-bred Shifnal businessman Mike Davies has been a hospitality business owner in the town for 25 years. He and his wife now Judy run the Anvil Lodge guest house after he ran the pub next door before selling the business. They have four suites and only do breakfasts.

Mr Davies said: "The air show has always been a big player for businesses in Shifnal and its return will be welcome. The shops and railway and the B&Bs that are left will do well.

"It is definitely on a par with the V festival in the town."

Mr Davies though isn't looking forward to the traffic jams in the area, and the lack of space to park cars in the town.

"Many people can't get out of their cars because there is nowhere to park, and it is heartbreaking to see all those people - and all that business - going by."

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