Kirkcaldy airshow won’t happen in 2019, but all eyes on 2021
Kirkcaldy won’t see an airshow in the skies above the town this year, as it appears to have been too short a timeframe to organise.
Bosses behind the airshow earmarked for the waterfront this year have conceded that 2019 may be too ambitious for such a short space of time.
However, after talks between the organisers and Fife Council, it is now thought that 2021 could be a more viable timeframe to bring the event to the Langtoun.
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The team behind the Scottish International Airshow (SIA), which normally takes place in Ayrshire, had been eyeing up Kirkcaldy to host an event in August or September while South Ayrshire Council takes a year out.
It is thought that they would have been looking for an investment of around £100,000 from Fife Council.
South Ayrshire Council put £200,000 into the most recent two-day event, and the authority estimated £4.8 million was generated for the area’s economy.
It is understood that Fife Council is keen to ensure value for money on any potential investments, given the constraints on budgets.
Kirkcaldy councillor Neil Crooks is cautiously optimistic about the prospect of the town holding an airshow.
He said: “Initially talks had centred on holding an airshow at Kirkcaldy Waterfront later this year, and we’ve been looking at how best to bring it all together.
“Obviously it would have been great to bring an airshow to Kirkcaldy in 2019, but we have to make sure that we could do the event and the town justice.
“It’s a huge task to tie it all together, and we wouldn’t want to host something like this unless we have all the right preparations in place to really bring some benefit to Kirkcaldy. That’s why we’re now looking at 2021 as a more likely time to bring an airshow to the town.
“Kirkcaldy has the potential to be a fantastic location for an airshow, especially with the planned upgrades to the waterfront area.
“With enough time to prepare properly, we believe it’s far more likely that Kirkcaldy would be able to host a high-calibre event that would not only bring a boost to the local economy, but offer value for money.”
Doug McLean, chief executive of SIA said that while this year is off the cards, Kirkcaldy waterfront is an ideal location.
He said: “We’re not planning anything for this year as it’s logistically impossible for something that big, but we’re hopeful for 2021.
“It gives the council the opportunity to come over to Ayr in 2020 and have a look at the show there.
“We like Kirkcaldy, the long promenade is ideal, and it’s got a huge advantage of having a mainline railway station.
“We’ve already had productive discussions with Stagecoach, which would run buses from different parts of Scotland to bring people in.
“I would anticipate any airshow in Fife is going to attract 50,000 to 80,000 per day.
“We’re going to a series of planning meetings. Fife Council wants to know what the anticipated benefits will be.
“I know it’s a big chunk of money in terms of what the council has to spend but the returns are enormous.”