A new events strategy for Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway Council has adopted a new Events Strategy for the region.

The new Strategy follows on from the inaugural Major Festivals and Events Strategy and will cover the period 2018-2021.

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 seven ‘Signature Events’ in recognition of their sporting, cultural and economic importance to Dumfries and Galloway. The seven 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 therefore protects and supports these events for the people of Dumfries and Galloway for the foreseeable future.

Separate to the funding allocated for the Seven 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 superb events such as Electric Fields, the Eden Festival and the Stranraer Oyster Festival in recent years.

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

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said: “I’m delighted Dumfries and Galloway Council has adopted a new Events Strategy for the region to build on great work of its existing Major Festivals and Events Strategy. Events play a big part in our visitor economy and this new strategy will play a key role in not only generating significant economic impact for the region, it will also help ensure Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

Councillor Adam Wilson, the Council’s Events Champion said, “We are continuing to invest in major events projects because the compelling evidence is that they are essential to our tourism development as a region, and are a wonderful aspect of local life. Our Seven Signature Events are international quality events, that help profile Dumfries and Galloway and put us on the map.

This new Strategy can also act as a catalyst for employment and business development, and encourage young people to stay in the region – we believe in the creativity and wellbeing that participation in great events projects brings.  I would urge the private sector to work with public sector partners to build upon the investment from the Council, and drive forward business and tourism development now that we are 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, the continuation of the strategy will provide an important economic boost for the region. The range of events that are supported shows that Dumfries & Galloway has something for everyone and draws new audiences in from outside the region, which in-turn increases occupancy rates. DGChamber will  work closely with the Council to promote sponsorship and profile raising opportunities for businesses across the region associated with this exciting Strategy.”

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

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