Scottish International Airshow cancelled amid funding row

Organisers and the council have traded claims over who is to blame for the cancellation.

Crowds of more than 100,000 have flocked to previous airshows.
Crowds of more than 100,000 have flocked to previous airshows.

A major airshow due to take place in September has been cancelled.

Organisers of The Scottish International Airshow (TSIA) said they had no choice but to pull the plug following a row with South Ayrshire Council over funding.

All aircraft and exhibits booked for the show will be cancelled, along with hundreds of hotel rooms and contractors, according to a statement on social media.

The three-day event had been expected to draw crowds in excess of 100,000 to Low Green in Ayr.

The decision to cancel follows a public row over a payment of £80,000 by the council to the airshow.

The authority said it was made in error but airshow organisers insist it was an advance on the council’s £250,000 grant support.

Organisers said: “South Ayrshire Council have withdrawn the funding and ‘in kind’ support of the 2020 Scottish International Airshow in Ayr.

“We now have no choice but to cancel all the aircraft and displays booked for the 2020 Airshow.”

The show was established in 2014 after the closure of Leuchars Airshow.

No airshow was held last year to give organisers more time to plan for this year.

Council support was crucial to the running of the event which could have injected up to £6m into the local economy, according to the airshow.

Organisers rebutted claims that it had breached its contract with the council.

They said they had been open and upfront but requests to meet and discuss the issues had been rebuffed by the council, they said.

Organisers said all contractors for previous shows had been paid and a payment schedule had been agreed with Police Scotland for costs around the 2018 show.

The TSIA statement said: “We have successfully managed millions of pounds over a number of years and delivered five of the biggest annual events held in Scotland.

“We have honoured all our contracts and we have run these events carefully and prudently. We have also reported all finances in detail to SAC.”

Organisers claimed they had given the council an option to proceed with airshow – due to take place from September 4-6 – with a small amendment to the contract.

But they said the council had instead chosen to withdraw its support.

The statement concluded: “We are very sad that TSIA 2020 will not be held in Ayr and do not see the need for acrimonious press statements.

“It is very regrettable that this dispute has been played out in public on social media, damaging the reputation of the event, the organisers and the council.

STV News has contacted South Ayrshire Council for comment.


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