Coun­cil chiefs want say in pi­lot­ing the air­show

Near £ 1m cash aid at stake

Ayrshire Post - - NEWS - Stu­art Wil­son

Plans to hand the Scot­tish Air­show al­most £ 1mil­lion of pub­lic cash have splut­tered, it can be re­vealed.

Coun­cil bosses are stalling on the sign­ing of a new three- year fund­ing deal.

It had been ex­pected that an an­nual con­tract, worth £ 300,000, would be inked by of­fi­cials.

But con­cerns around the run­ning of the show – and the coun­cil’s lack of say in its or­gan­i­sa­tion – have slowed the deal.

A coun­cil white pa­per seen by the Post calls for the air show’s man­age­ment struc­ture to be “re­viewed” be­fore any cash is signed over.

The doc­u­ment says: “The com­pany would ben­e­fit from the ex­pan­sion of its board, cur­rently two direc­tors, to bring in oth­ers with dif­fer­ent/ com­ple­men­tary skillsets.”

It says such a move could “as­sist in tak­ing the com­pany to the next level.”

The pa­per also ques­tions the event or­gan­is­ers for op­er­at­ing as a com­pany lim­ited by guar­an­tee.

“Direc­tors should con­sider if this is the most ap­pro­pri­ate ve­hi­cle for an or­gan­i­sa­tion of this na­ture and does it pro­vide best op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­cess po­ten­tial fund­ing,” it adds.

The show, which was set up by flight en­thu­si­asts Doug Ma­clean and Danny An­der­son in 2014, re­mains un­der their con­trol. But coun­cil bosses, keen to strengthen their ties and keep the event in Ayr, now want a say on the flight deck.

Their sup­port for the show has rock­eted from just £ 25,000 in 2014 to £ 200,000 this year.

It comes as the event was pro­jected to make a “small sur­plus” for 2017, fol­low­ing last year’s loss of £ 40,605.

Fund­ing for next year’s event now hangs on an agree­ment be­ing reached be­hind the scenes with show or­gan­is­ers.

One coun­cil source said: “Our com­mit­ment to the show has been un­der­lined with a sig­nif­i­cant rise in fund­ing each year.

“But hand­ing over £ 900,000 be­tween now and 2020 re­quires a cer­tain level of scru­tiny on our be­half.

“The pub­lic would ex­pect that we ask these ques­tions.”

Coun­cil en­ter­prise chief, Jill Cronin, said: “All coun­cil­lors agreed in prin­ci­ple to sup­port the Scot­tish In­ter­na­tional Air­show for up to three years and to con­tinue dis­cus­sions with the event or­gan­is­ers with a view to con­sid­er­ing a fi­nalised fund­ing pack­age and pro­pos­als for the de­vel­op­ment of the Scot­tish In­ter­na­tional Air­show at Lead­er­ship Panel on Novem­ber 28.”

Fly­ing high But coun­cil chiefs, led by Dou­glas Camp­bell, want cash as­sur­ances

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