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Moffat Gold Rush

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By Fiona Reid
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Moffat Gold Rush

THE YEAR 2017 will go down in history as a golden one in Moffat when the World Gold Panning Championships comes to town.

After months of planning and hard work, the British Gold Panning Association (BGPA) won the rights to hold the global event in Upper Annandale.

And thousands of competitors and their friends and family are set to descend upon Moffat in August 2017.

Richard Deighton, of the BGPA, said: “We are overjoyed to have beaten off worldwide competition to win the rights to stage the most prestigious event within our calendar in the South of Scotland in 2017.

“We are confident that the event will have a positive impact on visitor numbers and tourism for Dumfries and Galloway before, during and long after the World Championships take place.

“We are thrilled with the support we have received in Moffat and feel it is the perfect showcase for gold panning.”

The week-long event, which will cost a minimum of £80,000 to pull off, was held in Navelgas, Spain, earlier this year and will take place in California next year.

Day trips and night-time entertainment are also organised, as well as opening and closing ceremonies. Moffat and District Community Council chairman Adam Anderson is looking forward to his home town hosting the event.

He said: “The community council is delighted that Moffat, a town whose economy relies heavily on visitors, has been chosen to host the championships.

“In total we could be looking forward to welcoming well in excess of 1000 visitors to our town which should be a great boost for Moffat’s businesses.

“We would hope that our visitors on their return home will enthuse about their trip and their memories of Moffat and, together with the extensive publicity which the championships will generate, Moffat and Dumfries and Galloway will welcome greater numbers of visitors in the years beyond 2017.”

He added: “There will be challenging times ahead and much hard work to be done in the organisation of the championships.

“With the support of the British Gold Panning Association, the council, Visit Scotland and the people of Moffat I’m certain that these championships will be a great attraction for our area and a memorable week for Moffat in August 2017.”

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