Street fair cancelled

The annual Bellshill Street Fair will not be taking place this year while the organisers decide if it has a future.

For over 20 years the street fair took over Main Street in Bellshill for three days.

The event has been running for more than two decades after community councillor Willie Foy saw a similar gathering in Kirkcaldy and decided to bring it to Bellshill.

Traditionally held on the last weekend in May, the grand opening on the Saturday, featuring a well-know figure or celebrity, gave way to three days of entertainment and fundraising.

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However, after negative feedback to last year’s event, it was decided changes needed to be made so there will be no street fair in 2018 while it is considered if it can continue in another form.

Bellshill Community Council secretary Duncan McLeod said: “ Over the last number of years the annual street fair has been supported on the Saturday, but seemed to wane on the Sunday and Monday.

“Last year the turn out was not as it has been in the past so I decided that it was time to look at the organisation of the set up asking the community council members for assistance in the organisation of this event.

“A few members stated that they would like to assist and form a new committee to arrange any future events.

“After a number of meetings the new team decided to look at changing some aspects, on the findings from a survey that was conducted last year asking the public and shopkeepers on their thoughts on the fair.

“After sifting through the results, it was decided that some of the public were not happy with our fair and that changes were needed. The committee has decided to scrap it this year.

“We are looking into the new procedures and requirements for hosting events of this nature in the future, which have been sent by North Lanarkshire Council’s Safety Advisory Group.

“The new committee has also agreed to look into try and raise needed funds to support the future of Bellshill Community Council and resurrecting a new street fair in the future.”

Bellshill councillor Harry Curran admitted to being disappointed there will be no street fair this year, but hopes a rest means it can come back stronger.

He said: “After so many years it is sad there will not a be a street fair this year, but I can understand that if there isn’t the interest there once was that perhaps a rethink is required.

“It does take an awful lot of effort to organise an event like this so it might be better just to give it a rest this year and put that effort into the possibility of it returning in 2019.

“I’m quite sure if people have ideas for how it could be improved or want to volunteer their time then I’m sure the community council would be delighted.”