THE International Ayr Show - Festival of Flight will return to the town's shorefront in 2024, it's been confirmed - and dates for the event have been announced too.

The event will run from Friday 6 to Saturday, September 7 2024.

Following on from the 2023 event, the council will be working with their strategic partner, theSKYLAB, to ensure the 2024 festival sees the return of some of 2023's aerial displays, as well as other brand-new aircraft.

A Sunday fun day event connected with the festival will also be held on Ayr High Street on September 8. 

The announcement of the 2024 event comes as documents revealed this year's show made a loss of more than £100,000.

A report to go before a meeting of the authority's cabinet on November 28 reveals the show brought in £256,325 - against a budget of £364,000.

The report - available on the local authority's website - also admitted there were several lessons the council needed to learn following the 2023 event.

Most notable among those were car parking and traffic management as a result of the large attendance on the Saturday of the event.

A council spokesperson said: “The cost to deliver the International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight was higher than we had projected.

"This was due to a significant increase in external supplier costs since previous large-scale events were delivered.

"However, the hugely successful festival attracted around 240,000 people to the area, delivering a significant economic benefit to Ayr, and highlighted South Ayrshire as a destination of choice.

"Our officers are now working to identify sponsors to raise funding for the 2024 event.”

The council also confirmed that they are looking to increase and improve car parking provision and traffic management measures to help support the flow of traffic in and around Ayr at the 2024 event.

The local body is also looking to increase toilet facilities at the Low Green and in the surrounding areas and event car parks.

Dr Geoff Coxon, CEO of theSKYLAB, said: “With the dates of the air show for 2024 now in place, we are well under way planning for an even better and more varied flying display, where we will bring back some of the favourite items on the programme and also some new ones too.

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"We are also building on the STEM activities held at Prestwick Airport the week before the air show.

"This saw several hundred S2 pupils engaged in workshops with Aerospace companies to understand what an aerospace career would look like for them and how they could pursue a career as an engineer choosing STEM subjects at school.

"And last, but not least, we have more exciting plans for the Low Green site. So, watch this space!”

The RAF Benevolent Fund will be the event's charity partner for a second year.

Gavin Davey, area director for Scotland with the charity, said: “The RAF Benevolent Fund is thrilled to be joining South Ayrshire Council as charity partner for the second year at the International Ayr Show - Festival of Flight in 2024.

"Enquiries and support for veterans have increased directly as a result of this charity partnership and our presence at the 2023 Ayr Show.

"We very much look forward to reaching more of the RAF Family and supporters through our close relationship with South Ayrshire Council.”

Councillor Alec Clark, South Ayrshire Council’s portfolio holder for tourism, culture and rural affairs, said: “This year’s International Ayr Show – Festival of Flight exceeded our expectations. 

"People flocked to the event which ultimately saw over 240,000 attend over the three days. 

"It was wonderful to see the place bustling and I’ll look forward to the return of the festival next year.

"I’m sure our strategic partner, theSKYLAB, will help us to secure some very impressive aerial displays for 2024. 

"We’re always looking for ways to entice visitors to key areas of our towns, and the Sunday funday event we have planned for Ayr High Street will be a great way to bring footfall to that area. 

"We’ve also taken into account feedback from the 2023 event, and we’ll use this to improve next year’s festival.”

Councillor Martin Dowey, the local authority's leader, said: “The 2023 air show was the first time the council have brought an event of this kind to South Ayrshire, and it was a truly spectacular weekend.  I’m delighted that we’ve announced the dates for next year."