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Council to help events get going again

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By Donald Turvill
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Council to help events get going again

AN ACTION plan to help the region’s communities recover from a year of lost events and festivals has been put in place by the council.

Approved by the communities committee last week, the strategy aims to support festivals, gala days, local sporting events and grassroots activities as they navigate organisation and funding in 2021.

The investment programme has pledged to fund events focusing on the Galloway Hoard exhibition at Kirkcudbright Galleries later in the year, as well as the Tour of Britain cycling race set to take place in the Stewartry this August and a gravel cycling festival in Galloway Forest Park in October.

In order to ensure that the region’s major festivals such as Spring Fling and Wigtown Book Festival can go ahead, they have been instructed to run a succession of small-scale events in place of their normal ‘blockbuster’ weekends.

The council have also said they will establish a “community events fund” and publish a toolkit for organisers, offering a detailed guide on how to arrange events whilst sticking to the ever-shifting coronavirus restrictions.

Cllr Andy Ferguson, chair of the communities committee, said: “Our professional and voluntary events organisations have shown great resilience throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and when the time is right can play a full part in the region’s community and economic recovery. They are major assets for Dumfries and Galloway and we have a sensitive programme of development to help communities come together this year and slowly and surely open up our economy to new events development.

“At the heart of our work will be community consultation and the safe management of festivals and events.”

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