A fresh injection of volunteer support is needed to save Arbroath’s annual fireworks display.
As the community continues preparations for the spotlight to shine locally on the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, the race is now on to save one of the area’s biggest bonfire night spectaculars.
Fireworks For Arbroath staged its first display at Inchcape Park five years ago, but the runaway success of the event meant it quickly outgrew the venue and for the past three years it has been staged at RM Condor on the outskirts of the town.
A crowd of around 7,000 turned out for last month’s display and around £9,000 is raised each year to stage the half-hour long pyrotechnics.
Group chairwoman Karren Cuthill said: “After five years as chairperson and event organiser of Fireworks for Arbroath I have taken the tough decision to stand down.
“It’s been a real journey for me.
“I never thought when I started that within five years we would have raised in excess of £50k and have managed to organise five fabulous fireworks displays.
“As I leave there will be quite a few of the committee standing down also.”
She added: “For Fireworks For Arbroath to go forward they are going to need an injection of new committee members.
“Now is the time for new folk to join, otherwise the group may have to fold, which would be a real shame after all the hard work myself and the committee have done.”
She said the clock is already ticking on the group’s future because of the need to commit to the 2020 display.
“The decision whether to go forward will need to be made at the start of next year, as (fireworks company) 21CC need a deposit paid in January/February to secure the 2020 display.
“When I founded the group, it had no money and no experience of fundraising or running an event.
“I am happy to impart all my contacts and knowledge to the new people who come on board. I would be happy to advise occasionally, if needed, but no longer be on committee.
“The group has a busy Facebook and Twitter page and we have a new website, which can be handed forward.”
Karen said the foundations for the group to go forward are already in place.
“There is a bank account with £1800 in it, certainly more than enough to pay the deposit for 2020.
“There are buckets, hi-vis vests, directional banners, id badges, a raffle licence, generator etc, which will all be handed on.
“To join the committee please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you to fill in a committee interest form.
“If people do not step up there is a real possibility that the group will have to fold and Arbroath will not have fireworks in 2020.”