£30 Million Events Boost For Dumfries & Galloway Welcomed

At a meeting today, Thursday 19th October 2017 Dumfries and Galloway  Council’s Communities committee  has agreed a new 4 year £30 Million events strategy for the whole of the region. The new Strategy follows on from the inaugural Major Festivals and Events Strategy and will cover the period 2018 to 2021.

The Council has calculated that the new regional events strategy will provide an economic stimulus in excess of £30m for Dumfries and Galloway over the next four years. This boost to the economy can be secured through investment in a series of events that have developed sustainably over the past four years or have strong growth prospects.

The Strategy provides ring-fenced funding for 7 signature events, recognising their sporting, cultural and economic importance to Dumfries and Galloway. The 7 events are the Big Burns Supper, the Arts Festival, the Scottish Rally, Spring Fling, Wigtown Book Festival, and World Championship Ice Hockey. The new Events Strategy protects and supports these events for the people of Dumfries and Galloway for the foreseeable future.

Separate to the funding allocated for the 7 signature events is the Major Events Strategic Fund, which will open for applications on the 30 October 2017. This competitive fund has played a pivotal role in the growth of events such as Electric Fields, the Eden Festival, and the Stranraer Oyster Festival.

The new Strategy helps position Dumfries and Galloway as the best place in rural Scotland to plan, manage, deliver, and visit great festivals and events.

Councillor Adam Wilson, the Council’s Events Champion, said: We’re continuing to invest in major events because the compelling evidence is that they’re essential to our tourism development as a region, and are a wonderful aspect of local life. Our 7 signature events are of international quality, raising the profile Dumfries and Galloway nationally and internationally.
“This new Strategy can also act as a catalyst for employment and business development, and encourage young people to stay in our region. We believe in the creativity and wellbeing that participating in great events projects brings. I urge the private sector to work with public sector partners to build on the investment from our Council to drive forward business and tourism development now, helping to safeguard this vital sector.”
Chief Executive Officer of DGChamber Brian Richardson said: “The success of the Major Festivals and Events Strategy should be greatly celebrated. This continuation of the strategy will provide an important economic boost for the region. The range of events that are supported shows that Dumfries and Galloway has something for everyone and draws new audiences in from outside the region, which increases occupancy rates. DGChamber will work closely with the Council to promote this exciting strategy and its opportunities to raise the profile of businesses across the region.”

The Council’s partners in delivering the Strategy are VisitScotland, Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber of the Arts, Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, and the Crichton Institute.

For full report click HERE

The Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2018-2021 follows on from the MFES 2014 – 2018. The MFES 2014-2018 was responsible for safeguarding and securing more than £17m of additional expenditure in the regional economy when it was reviewed by the Council in its 3rd year of operations. This economic impact does not include spending by local people at events – it is net and additional income to the regional economy, secured from visitors spending and events budgets.

Since the start of the original MFES it has contributed to year on year growth for the Wigtown Book Festival, Big Burns Supper, the Arts Festival, Spring Fling and Electric Fields Festival.

The forthcoming International Ice Hockey Federation’s (IIHF) Under 20s World Championship will be the 5th Ice Hockey World Championship to have taken place in Dumfries since 2012.

Since the MFES 2014-2018 was adopted the Tour of Britain has visited the region in 2016 for the Scottish Stage Finish in Castle Douglas and the Council is working with EventScotland and the Tour to bring this national blue riband event back to Dumfries and Galloway in the future.

The Council will identify the funding it allocates to the Strategy when it sets its budget in February 2018.

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com


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