“With up to 50 million people globally claiming Scottish ancestry, and many more with a strong connection to our country, the market for ancestral tourism in Scotland is considerable and creates opportunities for communities to benefit.
“Starting for the Year of Homecoming in 2014, and continuing last year, I am pleased to see the fund has already had such a strong positive impact, capturing visitors’ imagination, and helping to inspire and promote fun, colourful and inspiring events across the country.
“Not only will the Fund help support activities during this year's celebrations, it will help to provide a legacy of Clan activity through to our planned Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in 2017.” Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise & Tourism, March 2016.
The first round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund took place in 2014 and saw thousands of visitors attending events across Scotland.
The second round in 2015 continued the success of 2014 with more than 7,000 people from 18 countries celebrating Scottish culture and heritage.
It is estimated that up to 50 million people globally claim Scottish ancestry and many more have a connection with Scotland. The scope and potential for ancestral tourism in Scotland is huge and there is a real opportunity for local communities right across the country to benefit. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe choose to visit Scotland to explore their ancestry by visiting the homelands of their ancestors.
Scottish Government has, in recognition of the importance it places on Clan Tourism to the Scottish economy, worked with Clan representatives to support the creation of the Scottish Clan Event Fund. The fund is intended to provide legally-constituted Clans and Clan Societies with financial support of up to £5,000 for individual events to support additional elements or new activity specifically designed to grow events, expand the visitor experience and spread the benefits of events across the country as a whole.
Activities covered by the Fund will include:
- Strategic marketing
- Adding a new element to the event
- Hired equipment to improve the visitor experience
- Hired equipment to increase capacity
- Travel and transport to and from events in rural areas to support community engagement
2017 has been designated the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology and will celebrate our country’s unique history and heritage with a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector. The year will celebrate both our intangible and tangible heritage - our buildings, visitor attractions, archaeological sites - as well as our diverse stories, traditions and culture, with a focus on engagement and participation.
It is anticipated that the year will bring with it a lot of opportunities for Clans to engage with and embrace these themes and we are particularly keen to hear about how planned events and activities will align with and celebrate the Year.
“Building on the success of the clan event fund in 2014, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs continues to support this important initiative which will enhance Clan activities in local communities and encourage more people to celebrate their clan and family heritage across Scotland.” Sir Malcolm MacGregor, Convenor, Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, March 2015
The note of interest period for Clans interested in applying for funding for events in 2017 or 2018 is 8 April 2016 – 20 May 2016. The deadline for funding applications is 26 August 2016. Please note that applications will not be accepted after this date.
For more information on the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs please visit their website here.
"The Highland Clan Partnership Group has worked hard to achieve this funding which in turn will and has stimulated greater Clan activity during International Gatherings. In particular this has led to more ambitious programmes that also involve the local communities who can then see, first hand, what benefits can be had from such Clan events." The Earl of Cromartie, Chair, The Highland Clan Partnership Group, March 2015.