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Council discusses shelling out on Oyster Festival

BIG questions remain about when public gatherings will be allowed again but a positive sign comes tomorrow as Dumfries and Galloway Council looks ahead at funding key events. Two under consideration are Stranraer Oyster Festival and Minnigaff Traditional Music Festival. The council's Ad Hoc Covid-19 Sub Committee will tomorrow receive a report on major festivals and events grants. Members will be asked to approve grant awards for major festival and event projects, as recommended by the D&G Events Partnership. Signature events (Scottish Rally, Wigtown Book Festival and Tour of Britain Cycling) are in line for an award of £178k, subject to Member approval, for 2020/21 and 2021/22. Also up for funding payments are the cancelled 2020 events Spring Fling and D&G Arts Festival. These payments of £6,250 and £5,750 were due to be made to the organisations before Covid-19, and the report details the rationale behind issuing the funding to these organisations. Six applicants recommended to receive funding of a cumulative £66,000 for the next two financial years are also on the agenda. To date, events taking place from September onwards have not been cancelled or postponed, so the report outlines plans for funding events taking place after September including the Stranraer Oyster Festival and the Minnigaff Traditional Music Festival. A review into the council's signature events was conducted and it found that each of these events were continuing to attract growing visitor numbers, were sustainable in the short and medium terms and had strong partnership relations in place with our Council. A further report will be brought to the Ad Hoc Sub Committee with a review of Spring fling, The D&G Arts Festival and The Big Burns Supper. Chairman of the Council's Communities Committee, Cllr Andy Ferguson said: “This is a very welcome report, and is a timely boost to remind locals and visitors alike our region has a lot to offer post Covid-19. "The signature events have a proven track record of attracting visitors, being crowd-pleasers and bringing household names to our doorstep. "Whether that's a book-signing at Wigtown, a spin round the forest in a rally car or powering along a finishing straight on a road bike, these events are vital to the region and we should be proud to host them.” Vice Chairman, Cllr John Martin commented: “I am pleased to see six applications being recommended for funding, and in particular two new events. "For those who have applied before and been successful, they know how the process works and the benefits of working with us, but for new organisations to enter into business with us is terrific. "Hopefully the events get the go ahead and we can enjoy a much more active an enjoyable end to the year once Covid-19 has passed. I look forward to working with all these organisations in the future.”

<< back Published: 23 Apr 2020, 15:23

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