Coun­cil ear­marks cash for ‘sig­na­ture events’

The Galloway News - - INTIMATION­S -

Kirkcud­bright andWig­town are set to join forces in the fight to at­tract tourists.

Wig­town Book Fes­ti­val and Kirkcud­bright Fes­ti­val of Light are be­ing handed coun­cil cash for a joint pro­mo­tion of their at­trac­tions.

Eight of the £40,000 that will beWig­town’s share of the ma­jor events strat­egy fund­ing this year, set to be ap­proved at next week’s com­mu­ni­ties com­mit­tee, is specif­i­cally ear­marked for joint mar­ket­ing.

In all £183,000 is be­ing set aside for the seven“sig­na­ture events”that make up the back­bone of the re­gion’s fes­ti­val sec­tor.

Mem­bers will be asked to ap­prove fund­ing for the next two years that would give the Big Burns Sup­per, £33,000 each year; D&G Arts Fes­ti­val £24,000 drop­ping to £23,000; Scot­tish Rally £25,000 for both; Spring Fling £26,000 down to £25,000;Tour of Bri­tain £45,000 in 2019/20;Wig­town Book Fes­ti­val £40,000 and then £35,000; andWorld Cham­pi­onship Ice Hockey £35,000 this year. If ap­proved it would mean £186,000 is ring fenced for 2019/20. Civic and lo­cal ser­vices boss Har­ryThom­son says in a re­port the “sig­na­ture events”are those the“coun­cil wishes to see flour­ish due to their im­pres­sive cul­tural and sport­ing pro­grammes and as­so­ci­ated eco­nomic im­pacts”.

And he adds a rider that the fund­ing is sub­ject to the fi­nal bud­get to be set by the coun­cil fol­low­ing an­other ma­jor cost cut­ting ex­er­cise,

His re­port adds:“£8,000 of the rec­om­mended grant award to the Wig­town Book Fes­ti­val 2018/19 is specif­i­cally for joint mar­ket­ing with the Kirkcud­bright Fes­ti­val of Light.

“This will en­sure the book town and the artists town are fully pro­moted as re­lated theme towns in 2018 with a fo­cus on in­creas­ing vis­i­tor num­bers to both des­ti­na­tions.

“The fund­ing will en­able the Kirkcud­bright Fes­ti­val, a one off fes­ti­val, to draw upon the mar­ket­ing, com­mer­cial and cre­ative ex­per­tise of the Wig­town Fes­ti­val Com­pany.

“This pro­posal is cost ef­fec­tive, prac­ti­cal and can cre­ate a greater re­turn to the re­gional econ­omy in the shoul­der months of this year, than if the Book fes­ti­val and Kirkcud­bright fes­ti­val were to work in iso­la­tion from one an­other.”

The Scot­tish Rally fund­ing, with £6,000 set aside for joint mar­ket­ing of the Gal­loway Hills Rally, is aimed at boost­ing the econ­omy of Cas­tle Dou­glas which, along with Mof­fat and Dum­fries, will be in­volved in town cen­tre starts and fin­ishes. Kirkcud­bright’s In­ter­na­tional Fes­ti­val in Oc­to­ber is set to get £14,000 and the Gal­loway Hills Rally £5,000 in its own right.

The money will come from a to­tal of £62,000 ear­marked for other fes­ti­vals rec­om­mended for grants by the coun­cil’s events part­ner­ship.

Top event Jock Arm­strong in ac­tion in the Gal­loway Hills Rally

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