Visual art and craft weekend that attracts thousands of visitors to Dumfries and Galloway ‘should never be taken for granted’


Spring Fling, Scotland’s premiere open studios weekend attracted over 13,500 visitors and earned £1.5 million for the Dumfries and Galloway economy.

The annual results were up on the highly successful 2015 event that attracted 13,200 people and earned £1.46m for the area.

The figures reveal that despite the difficult economic times there were over 40,500 visits to the 94 participating studios – an average of more than 431 each.

As ever there was interest from across the country with 51% of visitors coming from other parts of Scotland (22%) and elsewhere in the UK (28%). In total there were visitors from 19 different countries.

An impressive £216,000 was spent in studios between 28 and 30 May, with the rest of the economic benefits going to local businesses such as shops, hotels, pubs, restaurants, cafes and B&Bs.

Joanna Macaulay, Upland’s Events and Exhibitions Manager, said: “It was another excellent year for Spring Fling, and for artists and makers all across the region. The event has grown and matured to become a much-loved part of Scotland’s arts calendar, bringing in visitors from far afield.

“What’s especially pleasing for us is that it acts as a showcase both for the creative community in Dumfries and Galloway and for the region itself.

“We are already busy making preparations for 2017, which will be a special year as it’s our 15th birthday.”

One of the key features of Spring Fling, which is run by Upland CIC, is the emphasis it puts on quality, with all participants being specially selected.

This year’s results show that 98% of visitors rate Spring Fling as good or excellent.

Plans for next year are still in the formative stage but, it is hoped that the event will continue to build on the firm foundations of the past.

Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion, said: “The Spring Fling results for 2016 are extraordinary and we should not take this special event for granted.

“To attract more than 40,000 studio visits is superb and a great testimony to the drawing power of the participating artists’ and craft makers and the quality of the event’s marketing.

“Spring Fling creates a new way of discovering Dumfries and Galloway and learning about and enjoying the work of nearly one hundred of our best artists’ and craft makers.

“The cultural and economic importance of Spring Fling is hugely important to the region and the £1.5m economic impact is just the tip of the iceberg of the benefits it generates for our region.”


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