Brighter future for Fife arts festival

Gayle Nelson is optimistic about the future of the festival. (Pic: Rosa Doran)
Gayle Nelson is optimistic about the future of the festival. (Pic: Rosa Doran)

A major Fife festival which was under threat of being dissolved has been saved after volunteers from the local community stepped in.

Cupar Arts Festival, which is said to be worth £2m to the Fife economy, was at risk of closing because of a lack of new members coming forward. Last month, as committee member and event director Gayle Nelson stepped down, she warned that the charity could be wound-up if new volunteers failed to materialise.

However, following last week’s AGM, volunteers have now come forward to save the festival.

And Gayle believes that there is a future for the organisation.

She said: “From the outcome of the meeting, it looks as though there are enough people to take it forward.

“The charity doesn’t look to be in danger.”

The current committee neeeded recruits to take on key positions within the group, including someone to organise funding and apply for grants.

Gayle is confident that the future of the festival is secure after people came forward showing interest in taking positions on the committee at the group’s AGM, which was held last week.

“The AGM was well attended and there were a good number of people who showed interest, who are planning on having an initial meeting soon to talk about what roles they might take on,” Gayle said.

“It looks like it still lives.”

Gayle stepped down as the organisation’s event’s director at the AGM.

She said her new role will be to make sure that the handover goes as smoothly as possible.

“I’m expecting to be informed at a later date of who will fill the key roles,” Gayle said.

“Then I’ll do a handover with them so they have all the information that they need. I want to make sure that they are in a position to take things forward.”

Linda Temple, cultural patnerships and events strategy manager, said that the news of the AGM’s positive outcome was good for the area.

“I understand that around 25 people attended the AGM and quite a number of them are quite keen to take it forward and volunteer, which is excellent news,” she said.

“It’s important that it has a future – especially in that area of Fife.

“It’s an excellent arts festival and attracts a significant amount of people outwith Fife to the area. That generates an economic impact. That is why we are keen to support it.”

Linda thanked Gayle for being an “excellent director” and explained what will happen next.

She said: “Our festivals development officer will be meeting with the group to see what their plans are and how the council can help them achieve what they are looking to do.”

The event, which is described as an ‘international festival of contemporary visual art’, runs in June every year.