Dumfries and Galloway Council is continuing its active delivery of the regional events strategy and, at its Communities Committee on 6 June, announced that £145,000 of funding has been awarded to six Signature Events.
The events are this year’s Wigtown Book Festival and Scottish Rally and Spring Fling, the Arts Festival and Big Burns Supper in 2024. Funding will also be provided for a World Championship Ice Hockey tournament at Dumfries Ice Bowl, if and when the next World Championship Group is attracted to the venue.
The Signature Events policy is unique in Scotland and the UK, and secures the immediate future of these events for local people. The Council’s Dumfries and Galloway Events Strategy 2023–2027 was adopted in October 2022 and aims to make the region the best in rural Scotland for planning, managing and visiting festivals and events.
The Council is also committed to reviewing if any of the area’s growth events can become Signature Events from 2024, to aid the growth, profile and programmes of the next generation of major events in Dumfries and Galloway.
Councillor Ian Blake, Chair of the Council’s Communities Committee said, “The Council is completely focussed on the implementation and delivery of the new regional Events Strategy. We have a positive, purposeful partnership with the region’s events organisers, and the Signature Events grants we have approved will be highly beneficial to the organisations we are supporting and business and tourism in our region.”
Councillor Jackie McCamon, the Vice Chair of the Communities Committee said, “Our economy is benefitting from our tailored investment in festivals and events. Recently, Gatehouse of Fleet was transformed when the village hosted the Gralloch Gravel Cycling World Cup, with close to 1200 participants and 600 spectators. The event generated a wonderful atmosphere in Gatehouse of Fleet and a huge cash injection into the local economy. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis, we are doing everything we possibly can to support our local economy and aid community wellbeing through our well researched events strategy.”