PLANS are in the pipeline to make Oswestry Balloon Carnival even bigger and better this year.

Oswestry Business Improvement District (BID) has agreed to bolster the carnival’s coffers with £10,000 in a bid to ensure the event benefits town traders.

BID manager Adele Nightingale told how to support the August bank holiday event at Cae Glas Park, the organisation wanted it to be more involved with town businesses.

She added: “For us it is an important calender event, it puts Oswestry on the map and it’s great for the people that live here, but we need to ensure that the businesses that are in the Oswestry area and the BID levy payers are going to benefit from the event.”

Ms Nightingale added that Oswestry BID would work with traders to help them “thinking outside the box” to make the most of the event.

The organisation wants businesses, including the night-time economy, to benefit from the increased footfall that the event brings – and to “welcome people into Oswestry that perhaps wouldn’t come necessarily, and hopefully attract them again”.

She added that the event “looks to be even bigger and better”than last year.Thousands of people attended last year’s event, which was hailed a success overall, despite the second day being called off due to poor weather.

Carnival goers enjoyed watching numerous balloons take flight, including the well-received Night Glow.

Oswestry Town Council and Lindstrand Technologies organise the carnival in partnership with Nightingale House Hospice in Wrexham, for which the carnival raises funds.

It was previously held in Llangollen and at the British Ironwork Centre. The council last year decided to continue its support with £15,000 in funding. Ms Nightingale sits on the event’s working group to represent the BID.

Per Lindstrand, world-renowned balloon pilot and Lindstrand Technologies founder, said that the BID funding was “very welcome”.

“The town needs events like that to put it back on the map,” he said.

“We have some things, like the Ironworks came up with the Colour Run and things, and this is another one of those things.

“Llangollen has a music festival and we have nothing here – we need to bring the place up and shake things around a bit. It’s exactly what we need.”

In a report to today’s Oswestry Town Council Markets and Town Centre Committee, assistant clerk Arren Roberts said a number of ideas were being discussed to expand the event, including a food-focused street market on Church Street, more music and entertainment in the park and town centre and possible commercial flights.

Kites could also be added, along with children’s activities in Oswestry Memorial Hall, an extended funfair and a park and ride scheme.

“The support from the BID, both financially and other, is welcomed and will help towards the long-term sustainability of the event,” Mr Roberts added.

“The Balloon Carnival is a unique, free, family fun event aimed at increasing tourism and trade to the town centre and local businesses, and to raise money for Nightingale House Hospice.”

Councillors will be asked to give their feedback on the plans at the committee meeting, which starts at 7pm.