Following a hugely successful first year, the EventScotland Beacon Events Programme continues in 2015, supporting uniquely Scottish events, which generate tourism benefits, contribute significantly to the National Events Strategy impact areas and offer examples of best practice.
Spring Fling in Dumfries & Galloway and StAnza in Fife are the first events to be confirmed for 2015, with the rest of the programme set to be announced soon.
During 2014 some of Scotland’s best loved national events were supported through the Beacon Programme, which is delivered by EventScotland, the events directorate of national tourism body VisitScotland.
The benefits have been spread throughout the country with, the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival (Aberdeenshire); Cowal Highland Gathering (Argyll & Bute); Wigtown Book Festival (Dumfries & Galloway); Enchanted Forest and Perthshire Amber (both Perth & Kinross) all receiving support.
The Beacon Programme was launched in early 2014 to support recurring events based in Scotland, which have previously had support through the National Event Programme. These events mark a strong fit across all aspects of the National Events Strategy: Scotland the Perfect Stage, and have significance and proven support in a particular local authority.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “Tourism is at the heart of Scotland’s economy and we are dedicated to continuing our support for events, which provide a platform for growth throughout the country.
“The continuation of the Beacon programme will ensure Scotland builds on its position as the perfect stage for events, by sustaining and developing our annual calendar of nationally significant events.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Events continue to play a vital role in Scotland’s visitor economy and the Beacon programme is helping to support the events that have real significance in communities across Scotland.
“Not only do they generate significant economic impacts, they stimulate domestic tourism and contribute to our vast, vibrant portfolio of annual events.”
Festival Director for StAnza, Eleanor Livingstone said: "EventScotland’s various funding programmes are hugely important to StAnza and provide us with crucial funding that enables our festival to thrive and reach its full potential year after year, enabling us to attract audiences from across the UK and beyond. This year’s Beacon Events Programme is a fantastic initiative which supports events which showcase the best of Scotland and we're extremely proud to be a part of this."
In order to be considered for the programme events, must meet two of the following criteria: To attract 50% of visitors from outwith the local authority; generate or have the potential to generate around £500,000 economic impact to Scotland; or fill a specific geographic, demographic or sector gap in the Scottish events portfolio.
Criteria for support includes events being willing to act as a model of good practice for other events, and information from the 2014 programme will follow, which will help to support the ongoing development of the industry in Scotland.
Applications are currently being sought from events for the 2015 programme. Further details can be found at http://www.eventscotland.org/funding/beacon-events-programme/.