Book Festival lines up a host of literary stars

Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ann Barclay, Wigtown Book Festival and Jim McColm, Mid Galloway Councillor
Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Ann Barclay, Wigtown Book Festival and Jim McColm, Mid Galloway Councillor

Dumfries and Galloway Council is to make a grant of £37,000 to the Wigtown Festival Company for the 2014 book festival.

The festival’s 2014 programme features authors such as Margaret Drabble, Sarah Maitland and Damian Barr as broadcasters including Clare Balding, Penny Junor, Kate Adie and Kirsty Wark. The ten-day festival features more that 200 events, and is chockablock with children’s author readings, film and music events too.

Councillor Colin Smyth, the council’s events champion said: “I am delighted that the council is awarding £37,000 to the Wigtown Festival Trust to help deliver the 2014 book festival. The event is a magnificent promotion of Wigtown, Scotland’s National Booktown, and is always stimulating, thoughtful and irreverent. There is a terrific line up of talent for the 2014 festival with something for everyone, and that will encourage thousands of visitors to flock to Wigtownshire.

“The council is proud to contribute £37,000 of funding to the festival, because we are so aware of its benefits, including the direct economic impact of £2 million it generates for the regional economy. Our major festivals and events strategy is really important in building successful, sustainable, memorable festivals in our region, which is safeguarding the cultural vitality of Dumfries and Galloway, and developing year on year our stock of international events.”

A 2013 economic impact study commissioned by the Wigtown Festival Company established that the festival is responsible of stimulating an extra £2 million for the regional economy each year. There were more that 7500 unique visitors to the 2013 festival and the majority of these - 57 per cent, came from outwith Dumfries and Galloway. The book festival has now, together with the Wickerman, reached the milestone of being worth more than £2 million for the local economy.