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Council gives funding boost to book festival

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Council gives funding boost to book festival

WIGTOWN Book Festival is set receive a share of a £145,000 funding boost.

The festival is one of six signature events throughout the region to be given a slice of the funding from Dumfries and Galloway Council’s communities committee.

The funding awards are £28,400 to the Wigtown Book Festival and Big Burns Supper, £23,652 to the Arts Festival and Spring Fling and £16,996 to the Scottish Rally. Funding will also be provided for a World Championship Ice Hockey tournament at Dumfries Ice Bowl, if and when the next World Championship Group is attracted to the venue.

Councillor Ian Blake, who chairs the committee, said: “The council is completely focussed on the implementation and delivery of the new regional events strategy. We have a positive, purposeful partnership with the region’s events organisers, and the signature events grants we have approved will be highly beneficial to the organisations we are supporting and business and tourism in our region.”

The signature events policy is unique in Scotland and the UK, and secures the immediate future of these events for local people. The council’s Dumfries and Galloway Events Strategy 2023–2027 was adopted in October 2022 and aims to make the region the best in rural Scotland for planning, managing and visiting festivals and events.

Vice chair Councillor Jackie McCamon added: “Our economy is benefitting from our tailored investment in festivals and events. Recently, Gatehouse of Fleet was transformed when the village hosted the Gralloch Gravel Cycling World Cup, with close to 1200 participants and 600 spectators.

“The event generated a wonderful atmosphere in Gatehouse of Fleet and a huge cash injection into the local economy. In the aftermath of the covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis, we are doing everything we possibly can to support our local economy and aid community wellbeing through our well researched events strategy.”

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