A popular north-east event, which has seen its funding slashed, will need to be reinvented in order to survive.
Fraserburgh’s Super Saturday events won national recognition in 2014 when they were shortlisted for an award at the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum, but have come under increasing scrutiny in recent months.
In December, local councillors raised concerns that the project was becoming stale, despite Aberdeenshire Council providing it with more than £70,000 to run for two years.
The claims came as its funding dried up and the Super Saturday committee applied for greater investment.
The events, which take up about 200 hours of volunteers’ time to organise and run, were eventually awarded a drastically reduced grant of £36,509 to run for a further 24 months.
Stephen Archer, the local authority’s director of infrastructure services, will now discuss the future structure of Super Saturday tomorrow.
In his report to Banff and Buchan area committee, Mr Archer confirmed that the events would not be “financially sustainable” without council assistance.
Now, in an effort to attract outside sponsorship and freshen the format, new themes will be introduced to the monthly markets, while activities will also be brought in to attract a younger audience.
More emphasis, meanwhile, will be placed on food stalls which have proved to be the most popular for attendees.
Mr Archer said: “The Super Saturdays appear to deliver the required sense of vibrancy and activity to the town centre as well as serving the social needs of the community, but the events are not financially sustainable without external support.
“Fair rents are charged to stallholders but the amount charged cannot fully cover the cost of organising the event or provide the quality of content and entertainment which is necessary for its success.”
The first Super Saturday event of 2016, themed “Fraserburgh and the Great Outdoors”, will take place in May.
A “Creative Talent”-themed event will follow in June featuring “all kinds” of creative outputs.
The committee of the Super Saturday programme is made up of the town’s development trust and volunteers. There is one paid, part-time coordinator.