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Oyster festival: Get cracking, says council

Big hit: Oyster festival

IN A hopeful sign, Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed £298,000 worth of funding for festivals and events with £15,000 earmarked for Stranraer Oyster Festival. At a meeting of the Council's Ad-Hoc COVID 19 Sub Committee on Friday, councilors agreed £178,000 over two years for the Regions Signature Events, £12,000 to support two Signature Events that have had to cancel their 2020 events due to Covid-19, £66,000 for the Major Events Strategic Fund and £42,000 in sector development opportunities. The Major Events Strategic Funds aims to help events and festivals to grow and attract larger audience numbers. Councillors agreed £20,000 to the Galloway Hoard exhibition, £7,000 to the Autumn of Endurance, £15,000 to the Stranraer Oyster Festival, £10,000 to the Galloway Hills Rally, £7,000 to the Kirkcudbright Festival of Light and £7,000 to the Newton Stewart and Minnigaff Traditional Music and Dance Festival. The Council's Major Festival and Events Strategy contains four strands of funding designed to help promote and grow the region's festivals and events sector. The Signature Events strand contains Big Burns Supper, D&G Arts Festival, the Scottish Rally, Spring Fling, Tour of Britain and Wigtown Book Festival. Councillors allocated £21,000 to the Scottish Rally, £30,000 to the Tour of Britain and £32,000 to the Wigtown Book Festival. Although the 2020 Spring Fling and 2020 Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival have had to be cancelled as a result of Covid-19, councillors agreed funding of £6,250 and £5,750 respectively to support the two organisations and help cover costs already incurred. The Sector Development funding helps to provide opportunities to grow the festivals and events sector in Dumfries and Galloway by offering new opportunities and collaboration between the Council and events. Councillors agreed allocations of £20,000 to autumn and winter collaborative marketing, £5,000 to Nithsdale Burns Tourism Study, £10,000 to Annandale and Eskdale and Upper Nithsdale Grassroots Events Development, £2,000 to joint Spring Fling and D&G Arts Festival marketing, £2,000 for the DG Culture website and £1,000 for a Doors Open Day. Dumfries and Galloway Council's Events Champion Councillor Adam Wilson said: “Our Council remains committed to our Major Festival and Events Strategy which helps to secure approximately £5million for our regions economy every year and grow our region's festival and events sector. The Coronavirus pandemic is a challenge for our region, in particular our festival and events organisers. “The £286,000 worth of funding we have allocated demonstrates our council's commitment to our festival and events organisers and to grow the sector in our region. We have moved at pace to support events during this challenging time and as a result £199,000 has been made available to the sector immediately with £117,000 being allocated for financial year 2021/22 giving certainty to event organisers.” Although many events have already been cancelled, others – such as the Oyster Festival in September – hope to still go ahead.

<< back Published: 27 Apr 2020, 11:06

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