National Events Programme Celebrates Round 40 Milestone

A kickboxing competition; the World Coastal Rowing Championship; a brand-new music festival celebrating the very best of The Highlands; and a special anniversary for a significant Scottish landmark are just some of the events which will benefit from a share of £143,500 from EventScotland’s National Events Programme Fund.

A total of 10 events, taking place across eight local authorities, have been awarded grants from milestone Round 40, to enhance event delivery and to further develop Scotland’s diverse events portfolio.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “Over the years, our National Events Programme has played a crucial role in our work to increase domestic tourism across Scotland, complementing our International Programme of major events and supporting our long-term strategy of sustaining Scotland’s global reputation as the perfect stage for events.”

“It’s great to see the continued success of the programme, and we’re delighted to be able to support the ten events awarded in this latest round to develop and grow.”

Among the events to receive funding through the National Events Programme is the WKC (World Karate and Kickboxing Commission) Aberdeen Open, taking place at the AECC in May. The action-filled event, which is Scotland’s largest kickboxing competition, will offer spectators the chance to see local kickboxing talent as well as internationally acclaimed fighters from Ireland, Europe and the USA compete.  This is the first time that the WKC Aberdeen Open has received funding through the National Events Programme, with the event being awarded £5,000 to support PR and marketing activities.

Malcolm Evans, President of WKC Scotland, said: “We are extremely grateful to EventScotland for supporting The Aberdeen Open 2019, Scotland’s biggest kickboxing event. This is the fourth year of the competition and it has grown year on year to attract some of the best local, national and international kickboxers. Our main objective is to demonstrate the real benefits of kickboxing and increase public participation in the sport. The generous support of EventScotland has helped us work towards achieving this through investment in promotional activity which has allowed us to communicate the mental and physical health benefits associated with kickboxing, as well as attracting new audiences by building excitement ahead of the event on May 5.”

Also receiving funding the celebrations for The National Wallace Monument 150th Anniversary. Two special events will be held to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the National Wallace Monument; Wallace 150, a unique evening illumination event, marking the start of a special programme of celebrations, and Wallace Wha’ Hae, a family-friendly festival with activities themed on Wallace and his legacy.  £25,000 has been awarded to the events to support the delivery of both headline events.

Ken Thomson, Marketing Manager at Stirling District Tourism said: “2019 is a really important year for The National Wallace Monument – as we mark the 150th Anniversary of the famous landmark – and we are really looking forward to welcoming everyone who joins us for the commemorative events in September.  We really appreciate the support of EventScotland – which has been invaluable in helping us to prepare for these celebrations.”

The other events to receive funding from the latest round include:

Dundee Design Festival - Dundee Design Festival has a new location for 2019. The city’s third design festival will explore the theme of what makes a Liveable and Loveable city from inside a challenged shopping centre in the heart of the city.  Designers across all disciplines will be based at the Keiller Shopping Centre alongside a new exhibition and pop-up shop as part of a week-long programme of interactive workshops and talks where visitors can experiment with the process of design. To support its ambitions, the festival has received £20,000 to expand its marketing activity, develop its new venue and expand the capacity of ‘PechaKucha Night’, which will be its biggest to date at Dundee’s Caird Hall. 

The Gathering – This new one-day festival, in the grounds of the historic Northern Meeting Park in Inverness, will feature a host of exciting traditional and folk based bands from The Highlands and Scotland alongside a line-up of the finest craft food and drink suppliers from the region. The event has been awarded £10,000 towards its infrastructure.

Barrhead Rainbow Run -  A 5km fun run, where runners of all ages and abilities tackle a number of interactive challenges on-route, including paint stations, inflatable assault courses, slip ‘n’ slide and foam pits, has received £4,000 to enhance the visitor experience and encourage extended stays by participants in East Renfrewshire

Run the Blades – a unique trail running event held within the UK’s largest windfarm, Whitelee Windfarm, and incorporating three distances – 10km, half marathon and 50km ultramarathon – Run the Blades has been awarded £12,500 to enhance the spectator experience of its event village, including a large outdoor screen and additional marquees. 

Solas Festival – A family-friendly weekend arts festival at Errol Park, Perthshire with performances and workshops in music, theatre, dance, literature and visual arts, as well as talks and debates has received £9,500 for infrastructure costs to enhance the children’s and wellbeing area as well as its social media marketing for this strand of the programme. 

Youth Beatz –Scotland’s largest free youth music festival returns to Dumfries’ Park Farm in 2019 with a spectacular line-up of acts, including Professor Green and Sigma.  The festival has received £25,000 to maintain the size and scale of event following its key part in Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 signature event programme, ensuring a continued legacy from the Themed Year.

Stranraer SkiffieWorlds - A colourful and friendly celebration of coastal rowing. Stranraer and Loch Ryan in South West Scotland will host the major international coastal rowing event ‘SkiffieWorlds 2019’ which will see up to 1,000 participants compete. The event has been awarded £22,500 support an enhanced on-shore festival for visitors as well and increased marketing and PR activity for the event.

St. Andrews Voices - A unique 4-day Scottish festival devoted to vocal and choral music, 2019 will see the beginning of a new partnership with light projection artists Luxmuralis, who will create a unique, immersive voice and light event themed around the universe over two evenings which will take over iconic buildings across the whole town of St Andrews with the main event taking place in Holy Trinity Church. Live music will be performed by Owain Park and Gesualdo Six, as well as creative input from local community groups in the festival’s annual learning and participation programmes £10,000 has been awarded to support the addition of this new partnership.

Since establishing the Programme back in 2004, EventScotland has invested more than £5.8 million into 511 events covering the length and breadth of the country. The support has allowed for the strategic development of events which occur outwith Edinburgh and Glasgow, to help drive domestic tourism, deliver economic impact for local communities and generate media profile for Scotland. It is estimated that to date the Programme has contributed £97.6 million in total to the Scottish economy.

Many of Scotland’s best loved events, including Wigtown Book Festival, Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running, have greatly benefited from the Programme’s support and have subsequently gone on to progress to EventScotland’s Beacon and International Programmes.

Malcolm Sutherland, Event Director of Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, said: “The National Events Programme was instrumental in contributing to the growth and development of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running into one of the UK’s best loved marathons and Scotland’s largest participatory sporting events. We have seen very positive outcomes from EventScotland’s support over the years, with an increase in those travelling from outside Scotland to take part in the marathon and the resulting economic impact and benefits to the surrounding area of staging a high-profile sporting event.”

The National Events Programme is a strategic development programme with eligible events able to bid for a maximum of three rounds of funding. The deadline for the next round of the National Programme is 7 June 2019 with events taking place from January 2020 onwards eligible to apply. Guidelines for entry are available on www.eventscotland.org.

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