Sad News for the Airshow fans in the United Kingdom as two major seaside airshows the Air Waves Portrush (Northern Ireland’s biggest Airshow) and The Scottish International Airshow (Scotland’s biggest Airshow) have both been cancelled in this month alone! Both FREE events were scheduled to take place on the first weekend of September and surprisingly both were cancelled for the same reasons - lack of funds from the council. Earlier this month Causeway Coast and Glens Borough council have withdrawn all £240k funding for the Air Waves Portrush Airshow forcing the organisers to cancel the event that was followed by the South Ayrshire council that withdrawn all £250k funds. This is how the councils destroy our airshows everyone... We hope to see those great events return in the future with perhaps some more sensible councillors.
- SAC promise £250,000 of funding for TSIA 2020
- SAC pay £80,000 of the £250,000, requested by TSIA, as an advance payment
- SAC claim that the £80,000 was paid "in error" and demand it back, but it's already been spent
- SAC say TSIA has refused routine scrutiny of its finances and breached its contract on multiple occasions, which TSIA deny
- TSIA say the payment absolutely wasn't a mistake, they can't give it back, and there was no breach of contract
- Following a private meeting, SAC pulls all £250,000 of funding for TSIA, save for the lost £80,000
SAC's slightly wobbly funding has already seen the show skip a year in 2019 and TSIA were in talks a year ago with other councils, discussing alternating with a second venue to get more stable funding. Kirkcaldy expressed serious interest, but it was ultimately delayed until at least 2021. TSIA was on my list of shows for 2020 so its disappointing to see it go, I sure hope that they can get it up and running elsewhere and that yesterday's remarkable outburst, regardless of how accurate it may have been, does not put off other local authorities from working with them!
The Portrush connection, however, is a bit of a tenuous one (particularly the "this is how councils destroy airshows" remark in the linked Facebook post), as Causeway Coast didn't want to cancel the airshow. They were found to be almost £90 million in debt and had to scrap millions of pounds of event funding, etc. There wasn't much else they could have done, to be honest.
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