Council axes Super Saturday funding

Super Saturdays has drawn thousands of folk to Fraserburgh since it began, but now the plug has been pulled on funding
Super Saturdays has drawn thousands of folk to Fraserburgh since it began, but now the plug has been pulled on funding

Broch retailers have been left shellshocked after Aberdeenshire Council announced it was pulling the plug on funding for the town’s business-boosting Super Saturdays event.

Shop owners, stallholders and locals were gearing up for the first event of the year - due to take place on Saturday, May 11 - when the news broke.

With little more than a week to go, the local authority announced that it would no longer be providing the cash to fund the award-winning scheme.

Super Saturdays co-ordinator, Alison Noble of Fraserburgh Development Trust, was then faced with the difficult task of telling participants that the event would not be going ahead on cash grounds.

In a statement on Facebook on May 3, Alison said: “Aberdeenshire Council have notified Fraserburgh Development Trust that regeneration funding for Fraserburgh Super Saturdays has not been awarded for 2019.

“This means of course immediately that the first event planned for May 11 has to be cancelled at short notice.,

“As you will know, Aberdeenshire Council is the principle funder of Super Saturdays.

“Sorry to have to notify you so late. We were only just notified of the position ourselves.

“I want to thank you for your help and support during my tenure as co-ordinator.

“Obviously we are very disappointed but we have no choice but to cancel.”

Explaining the decision to halt the funding, an Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “We have become increasingly concerned over the past 12-18 months about the reducing number of people attending the events and the decreasing number and variety of stalls.

“We do not believe the project is continuing to have the same level of impact and benefit for the town centre economy it has in the past.

“The council acknowledges the hard work that has been undertaken by the trust and their volunteers in delivering these events over the last few years and wishes to place on record its appreciation to everyone involved in the project.

“Any funds not spent as a result of this decision will be reinvested in other projects in Fraserburgh.”