Cunningsburgh Show under threat after long-serving treasurer retires

This year’s Cunningsburgh Show is under threat because the committee has been unable to find a new treasurer to replace Ian Smith who is standing down after 15 years.

Organisers fear Shetland’s biggest agricultural show may have to be cancelled if a new person can’t be found to fill Mr Smith’s shoes.

The Cunningsburgh event is regarded as the highlight in the show calendar, drawing crowds in large numbers from far and wide.

Other officials are also needed to help with routine duties for show day, which is scheduled for 10th August.

The search comes as organisers are left fumbling for ways of matching the six-figure sum approved as part of a European Leader cash injection for improvements at the show ground.

Show president Kathleen Sinclair said even if the show goes ahead, those plans may have to be shelved.

Committee members are due to discuss the issue during an emergency general meeting at the Cunningsburgh Hall on Monday night.

Mrs Sinclair she said ambitious plans to build two new permanent buildings – to replace marquees – may have to be put on hold along with proposals to extend car-parking provision.

“We were trying for funding to do some improvements,” she said.

“You can get Leader funding through the LAG [local action group, which manages leader funds] … but it has to be match-funded. We’re struggling. We got to stage one with a lottery application, but we don’t fit their criteria.

“My view is we’ll have to scale the project down. We own our show field, but we were trying to make life easier by building two additional buildings, and car parking, to improve it.

“We do a little bit every year, so we’ve always been improving, but this was a big project.

“We have two structures but we wanted another two. The marquees are fine but they are so weather dependent for time and skill to get them up and down. It’s just needed to make things easier.

“We’ve made car parking for about 140 cars over the last two years and we want to increase that. We have a bit of land up on the hill that we were going to level and create an area for horses.”

The dilemma comes despite growing success for the show.

Last year it attracted 4,500 visitors, or “20 per cent of the Shetland population”, according to Mrs Sinclair.

“The show has grown over the years,” she said. “It is getting bigger and bigger.”

She insisted the committee was “working in harmony” to find a solution to the problems.

Mr Smith, she said, had been kind enough to volunteer his services on show day to show the new treasurer the ropes, and talk he or she through the duties of the day.


Add Your Comment

Add Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

200 words left

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.