Cash boost for book fest

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THE Wigtown Book Festival is set to reap the rewards of a major funding boost as part of the Year of Creative Scotland.

The festival has received a share from a pot worth more than £300,000 to help attract more visitors to Scotland during 2012.

The One Step Further investment programme aims to enhance festivals and events during 2012, with a focus on cultural tourism.

The Wigtown event will use its cash boost to reach for the stars. It has earmarked the £17,550 funding to help deliver a series of author talks and activities in conjunction with Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, an international initiative to bring astronomy tourism to the UK’s least light-polluted region.

Paula McDonald, VisitScotland regional director for the area, said: “Scotland is unquestionably one of the most creative countries in the world and this festival will help showcase that vibrant creativity to new audiences. In Dumfries and Galloway our culture is one of our greatest assets and a major draw for visitors. And that’s why this programme is so important – it’s providing opportunities for visitors as well as local communities both regionally and right across Scotland.”

Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, added: “Scotland is a year-round festival nation, with an exciting programme of world-class events, festivals and culture for all to enjoy.

“This announcement takes us one step further in attracting more tourists to Scotland to enjoy our rich cultural programme and ensuring that Scotland is recognised as a leading creative nation.

“There are over 380 festivals taking place across the country during 2012, all of which can be found in the Guide to Scotland’s Festivals 2012, free with February’s List magazine. Grab your copy and you’ll be left with no doubt that Scotland truly is a Festival Nation.”

Festival director Adrian Turpin said: “From nocturnal music to Doctor Who, we’ll be celebrating the sense of wonder that the heavens inspire, making use of the crystal-clear Galloway night skies.”