Event director: ‘Step up - or Cupar Arts Festival could fold’

editorial image

Cupar Arts Festival is in danger of being cancelled if no new committee members come forward, says the event’s director as she prepares to step down.

Gayle Nelson, who has served the committee since 2008, says that the departure of several other key members, coupled with a lack of volunteers, means that the charity could be wound-up.

Gayle Nelson has warned it could fold it people don't step up to the committee

Gayle Nelson has warned it could fold it people don't step up to the committee

The group is set for its AGM on February 1, when Gayle will step down.

But with other positions also becoming vacant, an urgent plea has gone out to recruit new members to ensure the future of the festival, which is said to be worth £2m to the Fife economy. The festival needs new members or it’s going to be dissolved,” said Gayle.

“If no one comes forward to take on the roles then the charity would have to be wound up, with the process beginning after the AGM.

“We must have people to take on key positions. We need someone to organise the funding and apply for grants, which can be a lot of paper work, but it has to be done to keep the festival going.

“If the event is to continue then it needs trustees, a book-keeper, and a reasonable number of committee members. It needs committed people to take on responsibilities, as well as those who may only be able to give a little of their time.

“People come from all over. So many of them would never have set foot in Cupar otherwise. They may never even have heard of the town.”

The arts festival receives Fife Council funding as part of Festivals in Fife. While the council has yet to reveal how much funding they would be willing to allocate this year, it is understood that the festival needed £80,000 from various sources last year.

Linda Temple, cultural partnership and events strategy manager, said: “Cupar Arts Festival has shown fantastic growth and is a shining example of how we want festivals to develop. Studies indicate that it brings in £2m to the Fife economy each year. We look forward to continue our financial support.

“Running a festival can be a difficult thing, and Gayle will definitely be missed, but this also presents a great opportunity for a new person.

“We hope to continue working with whoever joins the board and we’re keen to help raise awareness of the need for new members.”

The AGM is at the Community Fire Station, Millgate, at 7pm on February 1.