South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway autumn events 'worth more than £6m'

Festivals Image copyright Colin Hattersley
Image caption Four events generated millions of pounds according to the economic analysis

A series of autumn events in south west Scotland generated more than £6m for the economy, it has been claimed.

The impact analysis was carried out by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

It looked at the financial contribution to the region of the Wigtown Book Festival, Electric Fields music festival, Galloway Hills Rally and Stranraer Oyster Festival.

The council said the report underlined the region's "growing status" for hosting such events.

Image copyright Peter Robinson
Image caption The second edition of the Stranraer Oyster Festival was staged in 2018

The analysis showed said the economic impact of the events was:

  • Wigtown Book Festival - £3.75m
  • Electric Fields - £1.45m
  • Stranraer Oyster Festival - up to £1.1m
  • Galloway Hills Rally - £120,000

Adam Wilson, the council's major events champion, said: "The variety of events and the enthusiasm of the teams behind them is extraordinary - together they offer a foretaste of what we have to come in 2019.

"The oyster festival is just two years old and has already grown into a superb event with the potential to help regenerate Stranraer in the same way that the book festival has supported the economy of Wigtown over the last 20 years.

"Electric Fields is also going from strength to strength, with a superb line-up of performers and attracted more than 8,000 people to Drumlanrig last year. And the Galloway Hills Rally is absolutely thriving."

Paul Bush, VisitScotland's director of events, said it was clear the region's role as an events destination was improving all the time.

What have the organisers said?

Image copyright Electric Fields
Image caption Noel Gallagher performed at the Electric Fields festival last year
  • Alex Roberts, director of Electric Fields, said: "In 2018 we enjoyed our most successful year with our biggest capacity to date, but still maintained a special family-friendly atmosphere. To have the legendary Noel Gallagher perform at Drumlanrig Castle was a completely surreal experience and relished by all."
  • Kirsty Riddick, a member of the organising committee on the Galloway Hills Rally, said: "Our 2019 event will be the 46th annual running of the rally, and is set to be our biggest yet, as we undertake organising two separate events for the Scottish and British Rally Championships. This will bring new challenges to our small but dedicated team, but we are up for the test."
  • Romano Petrucci, chairman of the Stranraer Development Trust, which organises the oyster festival said: "The dedication of the organisers and staff, and the overwhelming support of the local community, has ensured that SOF has changed the story of the town forever."
  • Finn McCreath, vice chair of Wigtown Festival Company, said: "The 20th festival was an outstanding event, attracting record visitor numbers and ticket sales. It really shows how the public sector can work with communities to develop cultural events that are highly successful in attracting visitors, promoting the arts and regenerating local economies."

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