Councillors are set to consider a request to hold a commercially run ticketed music event in Stonehaven’s town square car park this Hogmanay.
In previous years, a community group, under the banner ‘Open Air in the Square’ have organised an event in the car park on Hogmanay, attracting big name acts such as Simple Minds, the Human League and Deacon Blue.
However, last year no event was held and the group have no plans to hold an event this year.
Members of Kincardine and Mearns area committee will tomorrow consider an application by a “commercial organisation” to hold a “similar event” this year, and councillors are being urged to back the plans, provided that Aberdeenshire Council recoups all costs associated with facilitating the event to take place.
In a report put before councillors, Director of Infrastrcuture Services, Stephen Archer, says: “The OAITS group did not run an event on 31 December 2016 and are not intending to run one this year either. A commercial organisation have requested to use the Market Square for a similar type of event, with purchased tickets this year. Given the scale of such an event it is anticipated that the same car park and road closures will be required and requested.
“Regardless of who is running such an event it clearly brings in lots of visitors to the town and creates significant economic activity. It does however remove the Market Square car park out of public use for almost a week.
“On the issue of costs, in previous years Aberdeenshire Council have been keen to promote a community event which would provide any surplus to local charities. So the car park has been provided free of charge and no charge has been made for staff time to process the traffic orders necessary to close roads as part of the overall traffic management plan that the event requires.”
Mr Archer adds that the Council anticipate a loss of between £500 and £700 in car parking fees over the time the car park would be out of use, with further costs associated with a traffic order and signange. Councillors are being urged to agree to the request, as long as these costs are recouped.
Members will consider the application at the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee at Viewmount in Stonehaven on Tuesday, February 28.