National programme events set to dazzle

From music festivals, battle re-enactments to outdoor light shows and sheepdog trials, the latest round of EventScotland’s National Programme Fund offers an array of high-quality events and festivals for tourists and locals alike.

Announced today, a total of 13 events from across Scotland have been awarded a share of £133,030 from EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, from Round 38 of the National Programme Fund. 

From Dundee to Dumfries and Galloway, and including both new and established events, nine local authority areas are represented in the latest round of funding. The grants will help to support event delivery, and to further develop Scotland’s wide-ranging and varied events portfolio.

Among the events to receive funding is fire and light spectacular, Illuminight, taking place in the grounds of Kilmarnock’s Dean Castle Country Park. The family-friendly event will see the Park’s grounds come alive with a mix of dazzling light installations, music and sound effects, as visitors make their way round the designated route of the 1.5km woodland trail. Created by Unique Events, the event was established last year as part of the re-opening of Dean Park following a restoration and renovation project with the aim of attracting local audiences as well as visitors from further afield.

Illuminight has been awarded £22,500 from EventScotland towards fresh programming and for additional PR and marketing activities.

 Robbie Clyde, Head of EventScotland, said: “Our National Programme of events plays an integral role in our work in increasing domestic tourism across Scotland, and supporting our long-term strategy in promoting Scotland as an events destination worldwide. We are delighted to be supporting these 13 events through the fund, and look forward to seeing them to continue to develop and grow.”

 Alan Thomson, Director of Unique Events, said:  “We are hugely grateful to EventScotland for their support of Illuminight through the National Events Fund and recognition as one of the country’s most exciting new illumination events. The response from our audiences in year one was overwhelming, with over 38,000 visitors enjoying the fire and light spectacular at Dean Castle Country Park, Kilmarnock. Through support from EventScotland we can now expand our promotional activity to attract new audiences from further afield to experience the delights of East Ayrshire, whilst enhancing both the creativity and production of the event and look ahead to establishing Illuminight as one of Scotland’s premier illumination attractions.”

EventScotland’s National Programme Fund supports the strategic development of events which occur outside of Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the aim of driving domestic tourism, delivering economic impact for local communities and generating media profile for Scotland. 

 The full list of events receiving support from Round 38 of EventScotland’s National Programme Fund is:

Aberdeen Mela - One World Day, 29 July, Aberdeen City Council - £11,000

Scottish National Sheep Dog Trials and Country Fair, 2 – 4 August, North Ayrshire Council – £6,750

Electric Fields, 30 August – 1 September, Dumfries and Galloway Council - £15,000

BOWFest, 7 – 9 September, Argyll and Bute Council - £6,000

Stranraer Oyster Festival, 14-16 September, Dumfries and Galloway Council - £16,000

East Lothian Battle Weekends: Prestonpans 2018, 15-17 September, East Lothian Council - £9,000

Jura Music Festival, 21 - 23 September, Argyll and Bute Council - £8,000

Midlothian Fire & Light Walk – Vogrie Country Park, 24-28 September, Midlothian Council - £6,305

Quest for Oz, 3 – 28 October, East Lothian Council - £6,000

Kirkcudbright Festival of Light, 5- 14 October, Dumfries and Galloway Council, £16, 475

EWS Continental European Rnd 4 - WEMBO World 24hrs Solo Championships, 20 October, Highland Council - £5,000

Illuminight, 24 October – 18 November, East Ayrshire Council - £22,500

NEoN Digital Arts Festival, 6 - 11 November, Dundee City Council, £5,000

The deadline for the next round of the National Programme is 5 October 2018 and this applies to eligible events taking place from May 2019 onwards. Guidelines for entry are available on

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