The Scottish International Airshow could be coming to Kirkcaldy as soon as next year, as Fife Council and event bosses are thought to be close to tying up a deal.
Kirkcaldy’s waterfront, which is on the verge of a £1.4m regeneration project, is on the cards to host the airshow, which would see a range of vintage bombers, modern jets, and stunt planes take to the skies above the Forth.
The idea of having spectators line the mile-long stretch of the prom, looking out to the spectacular displays above is a huge draw for event organisers.
Bosses at the airshow, which normally takes place in Ayr, will have a gap in their schedule in 2019, while the region prepares to host a larger event in 2020, which has led to Fife being one of three sites under scrutiny.
The event would be held between June and September next year.
Talks between Scottish International Airshow organisers and Fife Council officials have been taking place over the last few months.
There’s a very good case for putting on an experimental airshow of one-day in KirkcaldyDoug McLean - Scottish International Airshow director
Fife Council co-leader David Alexander said: “This is potentially iconic. I think we have to commit to this and I think given that it’s 2019, it’s a new financial year, we can maybe commit resources we don’t have now to make it happen.
“As I understand it, for a one-day event we’re looking at about £100,000, and that could easily be matched for the benefits to the local economy. To me this is too good to refuse. I think it’s a V&A moment for Kirkcaldy.
“What we have to do is make sure we can get the funding for next year, and I don’t see that being an outstanding problem.
“I think the various Kirkcaldy groups and Fife Council will find the money.
“Let’s show a bit of ambition, and let’s make it happen.”
Airshow director Doug McLean said that Leuchars and St Andrews had been considered but both were unsuitable, before Kirkcaldy was suggested.
He added: “We’ve had discussions with Fife Council about the possibility of doing an airshow in Fife in 2019.
“We went down to Kirkcaldy and had a look, and then got together and said it’s absolutely perfect venue for an airshow. It’s a great viewing platform.
“I’ve had discussions with Glenrothes airfield, we would look base a few planes there, and probably also Dundee and Edinburgh. We’d be looking at bringing things like a funfair, exhibition sites, and stalls.
“We’re only looking for a fraction of the cost. We’re not looking for the council to pay for the airshow, just to put a stake into it.
“For ever £1 that South Ayrshire invests in the airshow in Ayr, they get about £26 back into the local economy.”
“We think there’s a very good case for putting on an experimental one day show in Kirkcaldy.
Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance said: “The promenade is the ideal location to hold this event and it’s an area that is underused. It’s a fantastic location to maximise the benefit for the town.
“I would urge Fife Council, Kirkcaldy area committee, and Kirkcaldy4All to work together to try and secure this event for the benefit of the entire town and the wider area.”