THE owner of Millport’s seafront funfair has spoken of his frustration at the 'unfair treatment' he says has wrecked his summer season.

Jensen Newton says it makes no sense that he had been allowed to run his popular crazy golf course since early July but banned for letting children on his rides.

The Scottish Government said there were extra risks associated with funfairs, but the islander says all of these were already being looked at and mitigated.

Jensen says he has lost 'thousands of pounds' as a result of the decision.

He added: “All the rides were closed but they said the crazy golf could stay open. I don’t understand how that made sense as it still involved handling equipment.

“We eventually got a letter from the Scottish Government that said funfairs had specific transmission risks, including lack of social distancing, potential bottlenecks and no toilets.

“The funniest one they said was the risk of children shouting and screaming in excitement, even if you wanted to take that seriously, we’re able to mitigate all of those risks by spacing people out.

“We have social distancing markers and signs, we’re on an open piece of ground with toilets a two-minute walk away and nobody is allowed on the rides without hand sanitiser.”

After funfairs were originally allowed to open at the beginning of July, they were forced shut again just 20 days later after a u-turn by the Scottish Government, before getting the green light to reopen last Monday.

Jensen says the messaging on the issue has been confusing and has led to a summer season even further reduced than it could have been.

He added: “As much as I am happy to be back open, the overriding feeling is one of frustration.

“There’s a very good reason why we say an island tourist economy is a very fragile one, the vast majority of our income is made through the summer months.

“The income we generate through then offsets the losses during the winter. All of the kids are back at school now so opening on the weekends is the best we can do.

“We’ve already had half the year curtailed thanks to the lockdown and the outlook for what's left isn't great."

Although there has been some talk on the island of trying to extend the summer season, Jensen says that will be difficult with large scale events all cancelled due to the virus.

He said: “Normally my season lasts until the end of the holidays in October, but if the weather is nice beyond that then we can open some weekends.

“It would be great if we could organise some events in winter to bring tourists over.

“Every event that we normally have here over the year is off. It’s difficult to know how we can organise anything that will attract people during the off season.

“We just need to carry on and hope people come and support us."