A SCOTTISH town’s local businesses are set to shut if an Orange walk takes place in March amid community anger.

It comes as Aberdeenshire residents have urged their local authority to intervene and stop the walk from taking place in Stonehaven on March 16.

More than 8000 people have put their names to a petition opposing a parade to mark the opening of an Orange Lodge.

Orange Order walks are rare in the north east, with none taking place in Aberdeenshire since at least before 2019, according to analysis undertaken by The National.

READ MORE: Orange Order march: Thousands call for Aberdeenshire Orange walk to be stopped

And now, two businesses have said they will close if it takes place – with several discussing putting a case against the Orange walk to Aberdeenshire Council.

The Market Bar and the Waterfront Cafe will both close, and another bar in Stonehaven has revealed that a number of the town’s pubs are discussing a plan to close their businesses.

A spokesperson for the Market Bar said: “I don’t want to take any risks of trouble starting in here.

“We don’t want any hassle. We might open in the evening depending on what happens but the doors for the Market Bar will be shut during the day.”

The National: The Orange Walk came to Clacks at the weekend

Owner of the Waterfront Cafe Susan Knowles said: “I would close if the march goes ahead. I heard there are coachloads coming from Glasgow. I find the idea of it all scary. There could be trouble. We’ve also heard football hooligans could be coming to Stonehaven.”

Knowles added: “Saturday is one of our busiest days. It would be such a shame to close.”

Another local shop told the Press and Journal that police had been asking businesses whether they intend to be open on the Saturday.

Adem Celik, manager of Pinky Promise, said an officer advised him he can stay open.

He said: “The police officer said it was ok for us to stay open but advised us not to wear Celtic shirts while we are working.”

A police spokesperson said: “We are aware of the planned Orange Lodge march in Stonehaven on Saturday, 16 March, 2024.

“Our policing operation will be proportionate and focused on public safety, as well as working closely with partners to reduce disruption to the wider community.”

The procession, which is set to have around 200 people take part, has been described as “deeply rooted in sectarianism” by furious locals.

“The Orange Order, an organisation with a history of anti-Catholic and anti-Irish hostility, is planning to march through the peaceful streets of Stonehaven and parade to Dunnottar Church on March 16th,” the petition reads.

“Not only would this event - with 200 marchers 'bussed in' - severely disrupt daily activities and cause significant traffic congestion, but it also risks poisoning our peaceful environment,” it continues.

“We have seen too often elsewhere how Orange Order parades foment a threatening atmosphere, and can spill over into violence and abuse. This intimidatory practice cannot be justified on the grounds of freedom of expression.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s Kincardine and Mearns area committee is set to consider the notice on March 5, and decide whether or not to allow the parade to proceed.

This could be with or without conditions, or councillors could decide to stop the procession from going ahead.

The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said the parade was to celebrate a new lodge opening and is an opportunity for members to "remember those many covenanters in Stonehaven who were tortured and murdered for their reformed faith".