A Mary Queen of Scots festival that sought to fill the void left by T in The Park in Kinross has been cancelled due to Brexit funding fears, it has been claimed.
Following the success of last year’s inaugural festival organisers were hoping to raise £70,000 to host a second, larger-scale event this summer.
They wanted the living history festival to provide an economic boost to the area, which lost the T in the Park music festival last summer after 18 years.
However, concerns over funding have led organisers to pull the plug on this year’s event, which they hope will return bigger and better next year.
Event organiser Thomas Moffat, from community interest company It’s Not All Black and White, said: “Staging of this year’s Mary Queen of Scots Festival was always dependent largely on funding from generous corporate sponsors, such as Belhaven who kindly supported us last year and were going to do so again this year.
“However, due to an increase in economic uncertainty exacerbated in no small part by the events of the last week or so, we felt that raising the full level of funding required for this year had become less likely.
“Against this backdrop and after much difficult deliberation, we regret that we have decided to cancel the festival for this year.
The consequences of the recent Brexit vote seems to be already having a knock-on effect in areas which were never foreseen by the Leave campaign.
“We felt it was only fair to those who were supporting or participating in the event to make a swift and considered decision.”
The festival was due to take place on August 27 and 28 in Kinross and costumed characters were set to take over the town to depict what life was like in the court of Mary.
“Tents, banners, horses and birds of prey would have breathed authenticity into the bustling court and made history come to life for visitors.”
Despite the festival’s cancellation, the planned Mary Queen of Scots boat race will still go ahead as scheduled on Sunday August 27 at the Kirkgate Park.
Rowers will replicate Mary’s daring 1568 escape from imprisonment in Loch Leven Castle, where she was held captive for almost a year.
Plans are already under way to host a much enhanced festival next year to coincide with Scotland’s Year of History 2017.
Kinross-shire councillor Willie Robertson said: “I am very sorry to hear the Mary Queen of Scots Festival 2016 has had to be cancelled.
“The consequences of the recent Brexit vote seems to be already having a knock-on effect in areas which were never foreseen by the Leave campaign.
“The problem is we are only at the start of the process and things are likely to get worse.
“However, hopefully funding can be secured for the festival to be run next year. Kinross and Loch Leven are great places to visit and it is sad that we have lost out on this event in 2016.”