A SCIENCE festival which has attracted thousands of people to Dunbar will not take place this year.

The award-winning Dunbar SciFest was postponed last year, although it was said at the time that plans were being drawn up for its return in 2018.

However, Dee Davison, Dunbar SciFest creator and creative director, has confirmed that the festival, which has been a hit with visitors from throughout East Lothian and beyond, will not be relaunching this spring.

She said: “Sadly we are effectively still in the same scenario where due to family commitments we are unfortunately unable to run Dunbar SciFest.

“We are again postponing for another year. We are devastated about it as you can imagine.”

The science festival, which has been held at Dunbar Primary School and the Bleachingfield Centre, was launched in 2011. Since then it has grown from a half-day event to a more-than-week-long extravaganza which attracted nearly 40,000 people over the course of six years.

Mrs Davison said organisers had already been in touch with funders, such as East Lothian Council, to break the bad news.

She added: “Family commitments take a significant portion of time and until we get through that crisis we are unable to hold the event.

“We are all working full-time jobs and cannot juggle everything.”

Despite the second postponement in as many years, Mrs Davison stressed it was not necessarily the end for the festival, which has won a number of UK awards.

She added: “It is not our intention that this is it.

“We are very keen to get it up and running again but we need it to be at a time when the voluntary team have got the time and energy to devote to it.

“It is a big organisational challenge to do and we can only do it when we have got the full team firing on all cylinders.”

The announcement was greeted with disappointment but understanding by the town’s three councillors – Norman Hampshire, Sue Kempson and Paul McLennan.

Mr Hampshire said: “This event is done by volunteers and it has grown into a massive, massive event.

“I know a lot of the key players are in full-time employment as well and I think the commitment to do it every single year was becoming a huge workload on them.”

Mrs Kempson, who was previously head of the Anatomy Department at the Royal (Dick) Veterinary School at the University of Edinburgh, said: “I was hoping to do something for it having been a scientist all my career.

“It really enthuses young people and gives a great opportunity to experience the excitement of science.”

Mr McLennan, who previously lived next door to Mrs Davison, said: “The work Dee put into the event was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.

“It is disappointing it is not returning this year – it is a major contributor to Dunbar. The number of people that come to the area and the educational aspects are fantastic as well.”