Highlands & Islands

Funding offer for island food and drink events

Image caption Cash is being offered to events promoting local food and drink

A project set up as part of Scotland's Year of Islands has offered further funding for community events.

The celebrations will start in April with the aim of showcasing island culture and creativity.

Marketing initiative Scotland's Islands has invited bids from organisers of food and drink-related events.

Argyll and Bute, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highland, North Ayrshire, Orkney and Shetland councils are behind the marketing project.

A first round of funding for community events has been completed and the latest will remain open until 14 February.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Event Scotland and VisitScotland are also involved in Scotland's Islands.

Fiona Richmond, of Scotland Food & Drink, said events promoting local produce could cash in on an important area of the Scottish economy.

Music video

She said: "£800 million per year is spent on food and drink by overnight visitors to Scotland.

"The Scotland's Islands project is a fantastic way to bring producers and local communities together, showcasing the diverse range of quality produce Scotland's Islands have to offer tourists from Scotland, the UK and abroad."

Image caption Gaelic programme Breab is in the running for a prize at the Celtic Media Festival

Highland Council convener Sandy Park said the funding was available for large and small events.

He said: "We are urging local groups to get in touch so that we can do everything we can to support their applications.

"This is a great opportunity for the communities to highlight what special and diverse culture our islands have."

Featured events of the Year of Scotland's Islands include the Celtic Media Festival on Lewis on 13 April.

MG Alba and BBC Alba programmes are among the nominations for prizes at the festival, which is now in its 32nd year.

One of the programmes in the running is Breab which followed six young Gaels who spent eight days living together and taking on outdoor challenges.

Tasks included skinning a rabbit and directing a music video.

The year's other featured events include the Shetland Folk Festival on 28 April and Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival in September.

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