Details have been announced of the most impressive programme of military pageantry and displays ever planned in Cornwall, with an estimated economic boost to the local economy of between £5.5 and £7 million, as Falmouth hosts the Armed Forces Day national event over the weekend of June 24, 2023.
Cornwall’s bid to stage this showcase was accepted last year, and since then Cornwall Council, Falmouth Town Council, Falmouth BID, the Armed Services and the Ministry of Defence have been planning a jaw-dropping tribute to the Armed Forces and their vital role in the life of the country.
Historic Falmouth will be the centrepiece for a spectacular military village and days of ceremony, which will see a parade, live music, an air display and flypast, military showmanship, fireworks, sports events, a proms style concert at Pendennis Castle and much more.
Louis Gardner, Cabinet Member for the Economy, and himself a Veteran Royal Navy Submariner, is Cornwall Council’s Armed Forces and Veterans Champion.
Cllr Gardner said: “Weeks of community celebrations and a flag relay across the length of Cornwall and Scilly are already under way, and the culmination will be a weekend of breath-taking events in Falmouth centred on 24 June. There will be a Military Village where you can experience forces equipment up close, and a Proms-style outdoor concert and firework display in the magical setting of Henry Vlll’s Pendennis Castle.”
Now organisers are publishing details of the many attractions on offer, and the traffic and travel arrangements being made to ensure there is room, safety and a ringside view for everyone who wants to be here.
Working assumptions for this exceptional event are that, over the main weekend, Falmouth might see 100,000 + extra visitors, and that the local economy could benefit from an estimated £5.5 to £7 million boost in spending on local services such as accommodation, retail, hospitality and transport.
Cllr Gardner added: “Cornwall loves welcoming visitors, and it loves its armed forces who have been at the heart of Cornish communities throughout history. These are close ties of very long standing, so this is a natural location for this Armed Forces Day national celebration. Cornwall also loves hosting stand-out events – just think of the G7 Summit and Tour of Britain Cycle Race recently, and the Tall Ships Race returning this August. We invite residents, visitors - and of course our special guests, the armed forces - to make great memories together, and salute our services community in one of the UK’s most spectacular settings.
“This will be a free, family-friendly festival open to everyone, and a national shop-window for Cornwall to be seen at its very best.”
As you would expect, detailed plans are in place across policing, health, public transport, harbourmasters and blue light services to make sure everyone has a happy, healthy and safe time.
To minimise traffic congestion and business disruption in Falmouth’s town centre we are laying on a one-day Park & Ride service on Saturday 24 June based at Falmouth University’s Tremough campus. There will be closures of car parks, some roads will become pedestrian-only, and others will have temporary ‘no stopping’ orders.
Air Cdre Polly Perkins said: “I’m really excited to see Cornwall come together for such an incredible event and I know that our Service Personnel will feel extremely grateful for the support that the whole community is showing. I know that the whole Armed Forces Community finds this type of event as inspiring as I do and we are proud to showcase what a world class organisation we are.”
Cllr Gardner added: “Our first priority is everyone’s safety and ensuring easy journeys into and out of Falmouth on what will be a very busy Saturday. The plan also focuses on helping businesses, deliveries, emergency services and public transport to continue unhindered, and to help them plan ahead to meet the needs of residents and the thousands of visitors expected.
“So, if you intend to travel to Falmouth for the main events on 24 June please avoid driving into town. Follow the signs and take advantage of the special Park & Ride service from the University. Remember - car parks in Falmouth will be closed.”
The Maritime Line rail link has trains every half hour from Truro Station to Falmouth Docks, only a short walk from all the action. And don’t forget, a £10 ‘Dayrider’ family bus ticket now allows two adults and any number of accompanying children multiple bus journeys on all Cornish bus routes for the whole day (this excludes Park & Ride buses).
Cllr Gardner said: “Let’s make this a green and stress-free event by using public transport, avoiding traffic jams and the unnecessary search for parking in the town centre. As our Veterans and Cadets and marching bands will tell you, for one day only Falmouth will belong to pedestrians, and to happy families here enjoying outstanding displays and extraordinary exhibits.”
Published on May 18, 2023