Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Investment in Major Events to Continue

Dumfries and Galloway Council is to continue to invest fully in major festivals and events in 2016 and 2017.

The Local Authority’s Major Events Strategic Fund is now open for applications, on a competitive basis, for major events that take place in the region or that wish to relocate to Dumfries and Galloway.

Funding has already been ring-fenced up to and including 2017 for three of the region’s most prestigious and high profile events –Spring Fling, Big Burns Supper and the Arts Festival. The long term financial security these events are now establishing is a foundation of their artistic success. The Council is also investing in the 2016 Tour of Britain, which will visit the area in September 2016 and will provide funding of £32,500 to the Wigtown Book Festival next year – an exceptional showcase for literature, the arts and Galloway culture.

Councillor Colin Smyth, the Local Authority’s Events Champion said, “We recently announced that major events are worth in excess of £10m of net additional economic value to the region each year, and add greatly to our quality of life. That’s why our Council is to continue to invest in a range of events projects next year, through a mixture of confirmed funding to a range of our most significant ‘signature’ events and on a competitive basis via our Strategic Fund.

1 a 1 a sheep trailWe have had an exceptional September, with superb festival programmes in Wigtown( Main Photo WIGTOWN BOOK FESTIVAL) and at the Lockerbie Jazz Festival, and thousands of people enjoying the timeless charm of the International Sheep Dog Trials that was held between Dumfries and Moffat in the middle of last month. Our sustained, targeted investment in the best events projects can ensure many more memorable events in the future and opportunities for local businesses to benefit from the visitors encouraged to visit our region.”

VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald said, “The extensive range of first-class events and festivals which take place in Dumfries & Galloway is a fantastic tourism asset. It is an extremely important way of attracting visitors to the region and showcasing our wonderful scenery, amazing attractions, rich heritage and wealth of things there are to see and do here. Continued investment in the region’s vibrant programme of diverse, engaging events and festivals is absolutely vital – not only to the continued success of our tourism industry but to the strength of our local economy.

This funding by the Council – as well as funding in our region’s events and festivals by our Events Directorate – will ensure that we build on the fantastic successes and superb return on investment which we’ve seen delivered during 2015. We are extremely well placed to look forward to another exciting and rewarding year ahead in 2016, the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.”

The Council has identified and funded the Big Burns Supper as the region’s ‘Beacon Event’ for the period 2015-2017. The Festival receives £45,000 p.a. of funding due to its high growth potential.

Spring Fling Open Artists’ Studios will receive a total of £65,000 of funding in the period 2016 & 2017. The event has increased its economic impacts to the region by over 40% since 2015. It provides a superb return on public sector investment, and currently creates a net economic impact in excess of £1.4m annually.

The Council will provide total funding of £45,000 to the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival in the period 2016 and 2017. The Arts Festival is going from strength to strength, and is increasing the scope of its programme and the number of events it runs each May.

The Council and the Wickerman Festival are currently completing a study into the Festival’s growth potential and economic impacts. The study will be complete by the end of October, which will help inform the future partnership between the Local Authority and the Festival.

The Council and the Tour of Britain will begin the planning for next year’s Tour in Dumfries and Galloway in earnest this Autumn. The Tour will bring thousands of visitors to the area next September and a media and PR profile that is estimated to be in excess of £750,000. The Council’s contribution to the Tour visiting Dumfries and Galloway is £45,000 – which provides a superb return economically and in the promotion of cycling for leisure and sport.

For further information contact: [email protected]

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