Council earmarks cash for ‘signature events’
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