Galloway’s festivals set for grant backing

Good news predicted for organisers of events like the Stranraer Oyster Festival
Good news predicted for organisers of events like the Stranraer Oyster Festival

Good news for the organisers of Galloway’s various festivals was forecast this week - tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of it.

Funding for the events which do so much to boost the area’s tourism economy is expected to be confirmed at today’s (Tuesday) meeting of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Communities Committee.

The funding package will include £10,000 for the Galloway Hills Rally, £7,000 for the Kirkcudbright Illuminaire, £10,000 for the Stranraer Oyster Festival and a bumper Stranraer Skiffieworlds event.

Skiffieworlds is an open water kayaking race that will be held on Loch Ryan over a week from July 7 to 13.

September will be a busy time with the Galloway Hills Rally taking place on September 13 and 14 as well as the Oyster Festival in Stranraer from September 13 to 15.

Kirkcudbright Illuminaire takes place in mid-October (10 to 13) and will look to build on last year’s successful festival held in the Artist Town.

At today’s (Tuesday) council committee meeting members will also be asked to approve festivals that will be funded from a separate pot – the Regional Growth Events.

These events will receive funding in each of the next three years and they include the Castle Douglas Harvest Food Festival.

Communities Committee chairman, Councillor Andy Ferguson said: “We’re supporting everything from festivals of lights to open-water kayaking, with some oysters and rallying thrown in for good measure. It demonstrates our commitment to being an inclusive council and to the local economy.”

Vice-chairman Councillor John Martin said ahead of the meeting; ”This yet again shows that despite having to make really unprecedented budget decisions, our council continues to fund events and festivals that will bring people into the region.”

The various festivals held in Galloway over the year are understood to have pumped millions of pounds into the area’s economy with participants and visitors flocking here from the rest of the UK and beyond.