Galloway to the fore for Homecoming

Many events to take place in Dumfries and Galloway have been announced as part of the year-long Homecoming Scotland 2014 programme.

The initiative was officially unveiled by First Minister Alex Salmond, alongside Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland.

The announcement confirmed that the Big Burns Supper, Spring Fling, Flavour Fortnight, Wickerman Festival, Wigtown Book Festival and World Curling Championships Seniors and Mixed Doubles are included in the hundreds of events for Homecoming Scotland 2014.

Homecoming Scotland 2014 is being delivered by VisitScotland and EventScotland in conjunction with the Scottish government to provide an opportunity for communities all over the country to celebrate the best of Scottish culture.

Around 100 events were unveiled at the launch, with hundreds more expected to be confirmed over the next few months. They include many new events, established events which will have a new Homecoming element for 2014 and those that have joined through the partner programme to benefit from in-kind marketing.

The five themes of Homecoming 2014 are active, food and drink, creative, natural and ancestry.

An all-star concert to herald the opening of the Ryder Cup, a huge flotilla to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, Europe’s biggest brass band festival and a thrilling re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn are just some of the spectacular events that will mark Scotland’s 2014 Year of Homecoming.

Many existing events, including Hogmanay, Edinburgh Festivals, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, the Royal National Mod, the Turriff Show, the East Neuk Festival, the Outdoor Orkney festival and Tweedlove Bike Festival will receive funding for new and exciting Homecoming additions to their planned programmes for 2014.

An events fund of £3 million will provide a stunning all-year-round programme of activity to complement the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, and it will be backed by a £1.75 million marketing campaign by VisitScotland which will promote Homecoming 2014 at home and abroad.

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said: “With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the eyes of the world will be firmly on Scotland in 2014. Next year’s Homecoming will position Dumfries and Galloway as dynamic and creative with a rich history and culture.

“The exceptional events unveiled will celebrate so much that is great about Dumfries and Galloway and will ensure that the world will receive the most spectacular of welcomes in 2014.”