DATES for the next biggest festival of boating in Britain have been announced as the city's annual event ended in style.

Southampton International Boat Show came to an end this weekend with the first ever Community Day, organised for local residents to enjoy the marine-based festivities on their doorstep.

Civic chiefs have said that they believe this year's event could have brought millions of pounds into the local economy as thousands of enthusiasts flocked to the city.

Giles Semper, executive director of Go! Southampton, said: "After last year’s devastating blow to the Boat Show, it’s been a fantastic and memorable comeback.

"British Marine’s own research has shown that the 2019 event resulted in a £31m boost to the local economy. It’s not hard to believe that the impact was similar in 2021.

"The community day and the new entrance on Western Esplanade were surely innovations that need to be brought back. It felt like the city embraced the show – and vice versa – in a way that we haven’t seen before.’

"Our challenge now is to see the show move outside its footprint and to feature in every aspect of city life. I believe this can happen."

The dates for the 53rd annual Southampton International Boat Show have been announced for September 16 to 25, 2022.

Over the weekend, organisers British Marine launched Community Day to ensure local people were able to get involved with, and benefit from the event.

CEO of British Marine Lesley Robinson said: “We have worked hard at ensuring local community involvement in the show as Southampton has a strong maritime history and is a great place to get out on the water.

"Being able to help introduce young people to the world of watersports who perhaps wouldn’t ordinarily get an opportunity is incredible and we look forward to expanding the event for 2022.”

Cllr Daniel Fitzhenry, leader of Southampton City Council added: “The Southampton International Boat Show is one of the biggest dates in our events calendar, so it was fantastic to see such a great turnout at the very first Community Day and to launch the new Great Southampton Boat Race.

“Bringing our communities and more local people from our city to the show is our objective, really showing the benefits of water activity and how the show can benefit everyone.

"This was our first Community Day and we are working with British Marine to expand on this offer for next year so more of our children and young people can benefit from our great Southampton International Boat Show.”