National Programme Provides ‘Boo-st’ For Autumn Events

Thirteen events and festivals from across Scotland have been given a boost after receiving a share of £147, 576 funding from EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Taking place between late August and mid-November this year, the 13 events from across 11 local authorities have received the funding from EventScotland’s National Programme Fund to enhance event delivery and to further develop Scotland’s diverse events portfolio.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the thirteen events through our National Events Programme. Scotland is the perfect stage and our national funded events play a fundamental role, not only in contributing to our diverse portfolio, but in increasing domestic tourism, and delivering real social and economic benefits to local communities across the country.” 

Among them are two prestigious sheepdog competitions, the National Sheepdog Trials and Country Fair (21 – 24 Aug) and the International Sheep Dog Trial and Country Fair (13 - 15 Sep), taking place on the Isle of Bute and Brechin respectively. The Scottish National Sheep Dog Trial will see 150 handlers and dogs in Scotland compete to qualify to be in the top 15 to represent Scotland at the International Sheep Dog Trial, which will see 60 of the best competitors in total from across the four home nations, participate. 

The coming months will also feature several dazzling illumination events, with Midlothian Fire & Light Adventure (30 Sep – 6 Oct) at Vogrie Country Park and Illuminight with Lidl (23 Oct – 17 Nov) in Kilmarnock brightening up the dark skies. This year, Illuminight will return to Dean Castle Country Park, transforming the park, woodland trails and water features with incredible installations, using state-of-the-art light, sound and projection.

Meanwhile Autumn will see a series of colourful, theatrical events celebrating Halloween, and Scotland’s ghoulish history and traditions, including Paisley Halloween Festival (25 – 26 Oct), Galoshans 2019 (25 Oct – 2 Nov) in Greenock and Tam O’ Shanters Trail - Halloween Adventure (30 Oct – 3 Nov) in Roslin.

The Paisley Halloween Festival, which was supported in 2018 through the Year of Young People event fund, promises to be bigger than ever with £16,950 of National Programme funding going towards an extended programme of outdoor performances - featuring giant, animated puppets, floats and a cast of spooky circus characters - as well as aerial performances, and an inclusive autism friendly 'safe space'. The Festival continues to involve young people in the event through co-designing and participating in the programme, ensuring a legacy from last year’s Year of Young People 2018.

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, communications and events, said: “We are delighted to once again be working with EventScotland on the Paisley Halloween Festival and would like to thank them for their support.

“Paisley Halloween Festival is a unique event which attracts visitors from across Scotland and beyond and is now listed as one of the best of its kind in the UK. Last year’s event was worth more than £1.9m to the local economy and saw 34,000 people enjoy spectacular performances and parades against the stunning backdrop of Paisley Abbey.

“This year, with support from EventScotland, we’ll be able to deliver new dramatic and ambitious creative content, programming and production. Paisley’s programme of major events which has made the town one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years – and we look forward to building on that national platform.”

Other funded events also include; multicultural event, Aberdeen Mela – One World Day (1 Sep), Dunfermline-based multi-arts festival, Outwith Festival (3-8 Sept), Highland arts and literature celebration, the Nairn Book and Arts Festival (10 -15 Sept), premier oyster festival, the Stranraer Oyster Festival (13 – 15 Sept), trail running event, Tweed Valley Tunnel Trail Run (5 Oct) and closed-road rally, Mull Rally (11 – 13 Oct).

 The National Events Programme is a strategic development programme with eligible events, which take place outside the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, able to bid for a maximum of three rounds of funding. The deadline for the next round of the National Programme is 4 October 2019 with events taking place from May 2020 onwards eligible to apply. Guidelines for entry are available on www.eventscotland.org.

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