THE Viking Festival's resurgence can prove a springboard to plans to bring more major events to the town next year according to a prominent local group.

Ian Murdoch is the chair of Largs Events, which run the popular weekly Gallowgate Street open-air market and annual Yuletide celebration, says he is hopeful of seeing some new 'big ticket' events in the town during 2023.

Details are being kept under wraps but talks will be taking place to cement the proposals aimed at providing a major shot in the arm for next summer's tourist season.

Group bosses decided to take action after many businesses reported their worst May, June, July and August in 40 years.

A full Yuletide programme is also to return in 2022 for the first time in three years - as well as the Santa's Sleigh tour of the town and surrounding villages.

Mr Murdoch said: "Santa and his elves have insisted that the sleigh returns, so need to oblige.

"We hope to bring the full event back this year with bells and whistles.

"We are currently in talks at the moment and hope to reveal more things we have planned for next summer soon.

"Obviously events like festivals are difficult to do and require a lot of time, energy and fundraising. Money is tight at the moment but we are exploring something that I think will get people excited for next summer."

The events chief says the popularity of the Viking Festival could prove a catalyst for the 2023 calendar.

He added: "The opening day of the Viking Festival was the busiest I have ever seen, the town has been buzzing ever since. Full credit to the organisers, the who event was a great success."

Pre-pandemic, Largs Events used to run a number of high profile days in the town, including the Highland Show and a Largs Fun Weekend with children's rides, live music and a whole range of other family-friendly activities.

Mr Murdoch said: "I would like to bring back something along similar lines, perhaps with more of a town centre focus. We are blessed with a long promenade, so we are going to explore what we can do.

"The likes of the fun weekend used to cost around £20,000 to run so we need to look too at where we can make savings.

"We also need a strong committee and volunteers. Thankfully we have a good group just now and we will get together and see what is possible.

"We are looking at exploring putting on events which are affordable and socially inclusive so people don't have to fork out themselves to get involved."

Early estimates for the Viking Festival suggest that it attracted around 70,000 visitors, eclipsing the record £250,000 boost it gave town's economy in 2019.