AN ANNUAL Barry festival will operate in a reduced capacity - as the Vale Council paves the way for a Barry Island summer season opener.

Council officers decreed The Tall Ships Festival - part of the Barry Waterfront Festival held in September each year - be replaced with an event marking the start of the popular seaside resort’s visitor influx.

The Vale Council has, over the last three years, granted £10,000 each year.

The Tall Ships Youth Trust has indicated to the council that it still intends to visit Barry at the same time and the council will plan for a small event around the presence of the main attraction, tall ship Stavros S Niarchos. The weekend event traditionally featured live performances from local bands as well as street entertainers and fairground rides.

Vale Council director of development services, Rob Thomas said the council was very eager to plan for the next 12 months in terms of events. He said: “The Tall Ships Festival has involved the use of the Hood Road goods shed as a focal point.

“This will no longer be possible as work on the Barry waterfront regeneration scheme results in the site being located on the fringes of a major construction site. With progress on the new link road to the island, the site is not ideally positioned and is not considered conducive to a successful event. Attendances were down last year.”

He added: “Rather than holding a main event in September, it would be more appropriate to hold a main event to kick start the summer season on Barry Island.

“The investment in Nell’s Point that is planned through the regeneration scheme makes this an ideal option and will showcase what the island has to offer for the remainder of the summer. The council will continue to support the presence of the tall ships in Barry and that there will be activities based around the visit. However it is considered timely to change the emphasis.”