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£10m windfall for economy

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By Abbey Morton
Front

FESTIVALS and events supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council brought a £10 million windfall to the region last year.

And a similar return is expected for this year, with a host of events still to take place.
Officials say that the annual £250,000 investment by the local authority have contributed to the ‘superb economic results’ and success stories from high profile festivals, as part of the council-led Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2014-17.
The Wigtown Book Festival, Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival, Spring Fling, Big Burns Supper and the Eden Festival
are all reporting increasing numbers of visitors and a growing economic impact.
In May this year the region-wide open artists’ studio weekend, Spring Fling, attracted a flock of visitors spending £262,940 — worth more than £1.4m to the area.
And all of the events are becoming stronger financially through the revenues they are securing and the market niches they are carving out nationally.
Next month’s International Sheep Dog Trials at Meikleholm Farm, Courance, will see an anticipated new influx of 10,000 visitors descend upon Annandale and Eskdale — and they are expected to create a £1m plus spending boost.
Dumfries and Galloway Council events champion councillor Colin Smyth said: “These events add to our quality of life and help agencies such as VisitScotland successfully market South West Scotland.
“The £10m plus financial windfall for Dumfries and Galloway we are announcing for 2014 demonstrates a superb return on public sector investment from our grant support.”
He also said that plans are in place to continue the developments to the region’s economy.
Mr Smyth added: “There are many more great events projects in the pipeline and the council is determined to make Dumfries and Galloway the best rural location for major festivals and events in Scotland.
“Our signature events are an outstanding success story for the region.”

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