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D&G summer festivals programme launched

A launch event for the festival programme. Credit: ITV Border

Dumfries and Galloway has officially launched it's summer festival programme.

The schedule gets underway with Spring Fling and the DG Arts Festival both taking place later this month.

The local council say that promoting the area's creative talent brings a significant boost to the wider local economy.

Spring Fling alone brings in around 13,000 people, 50 percent of those from outside the region.

That is good for promoting the arts in the region, but it is also fantastic for the local economy. Spring Fling alone brings in investment of around £1.5 million.

– Cllr Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council


Three festivals announced for Annandale and Eskdale

Three festivals are to take place in Annandale and Eskdale later this year, beginning next month, Dumfries and Galloway council has announced.

The Pack Up Your Troubles Festival,which will be held from 28th to 31st August, will feature a weekend of events based on World War One, to celebrate the 100th birthday of twins Gretna and Eastriggs.

The first of the three festivals will include an old-style music hall evening, a World War One tearoom, classic bus tours, concerts, cooking demonstrations, educational workshops and various community events.

The International Sheep Dog Trials 2015 will take place the following month, on 10th to 12th September, at Meikleholm Farm, between Moffat and Dumfries.

Around 10,000 people are expected to turn out to see the world's most highly skilled dogs and handlers compete for the championship titles.

The Lockerbie Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with concerts in Lockerbie, Moffat, Annan and Gretna. US jazz singer Melba Joyce and musician Stephanie Trick will appear in concerts as part of the event.

Singer Ruby Turner is also due to perform in Lockerbie and Gretna.

Singer Ruby Turner Credit: PA

“This superb cluster of festivals and events will showcase Annandale and Eskdale and Dumfries and Galloway to great effect. The Council is doing all that it can to integrate the promotion of these festivals to ensure that we attract and retain visitors to our region, to enjoy our stunning countryside, inspiring heritage and the superb music and entertainment on offer. There is a real energy and exuberance about all these events that comes across so well.”

– Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council

“These three fantastic and very diverse festivals highlight the incredible variety of great things to see and do within the beautiful Annandale and Eskdale area. Each of these wonderful events - which give a real flavour of the vibrancy and colour of the local culture here - provides an excellent and valuable opportunity to attract new visitors to get a taste of the amazing range of activities and attractions there are to experience and enjoy throughout Dumfries & Galloway. I hope as many people as possible, from outside of the region as well as from the local community, will make the most of the chance to be a part of these great festivals, which all look set to be unmissable dates for the diary.

– VisitScotland Regional Director Paula McDonald

The three events are being fully backed by £45,000 of council funding as part of Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Major Festivals and Events Strategy which will provide £750,000 funding to events projects between 2014 and 2017.

"Council funding of major events creates business and tourism benefits and these three great events provide the perfect reason for staycations this Autumn. Where else in Scotland this year can you enjoy world class jazz in such close proximity to the tranquillity and fabulous craft of international sheep dog trials? We have the Tour of Britain coming through Gretna, Eastriggs and Cannonbie on Tuesday 8 September which will be a fantastic event to experience and the Pack Up Your Troubles Festival is choc a bloc with things to see and do.”

– Councillor Ronnie Ogilvie, Chair of Annandale and Eskdale Area Committee


South of Scotland festivals join forces

Credit: ITV Border

People across the south of Scotland are being encouraged to take part in a new partnership of outdoor festivals.

Foraging for wild plants is just one of many activities being held during the Wild Spring Festival and the Bio-diversity Festivals.

The two events are usually held separately in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, but this year they've joined together to make the most of what's on offer across the region.

Funding awarded to the 'best' festivals in rural Scotland

Lockerbie Jazz Festival is set to get £6,000 of funding Credit: ITV Border

Dumfries and Galloway's festivals and events are the "best in rural Scotland", according to its Council.

The claim accompanies its announcement of £339,000 of funding awards to major events projects.

This includes £45,000 being set aside to bring back the Tour of Britain to the region in September 2016.

Other recipients are as follows:

  • £65,000 Wigtown Book Festival
  • £65,000 Spring Fling
  • £6,000 to the Pipe Band Competition in Annan
  • £8,000 to The Eden Festival, Raehills
  • £12,000 to Electric Fields Festival, Drumlanrig Castle
  • £9,000 to the Galloway Hills Rally, the Stewartry
  • £4,000 to the International Musicians Platform,
  • £6,000 to the Lockerbie Jazz Festival, Lockerbie
  • £4,000 to the Knockengorroch World Ceilidh
  • £9,000 to the Merrick Stages Rally, Wigtownshire
  • £8,000 to the Pack Up Your Troubles Festival, Gretna and Eastriggs,
  • £15,000 to International Sheep Dog Trials, Courance, near Lockerbie
  • £6,000 to the Trophy d’Ecosse, Dumfries Ice Bowl
  • £15,000 for World Championship Ice Hockey, Dumfries Ice Bowl
  • £19,000 to other projects

Dumfries and Galloway events to get funding

Lockerbie Jazz Festival is one of twelve festivals set to receive funding Credit: ITV Border

Twelve festivals in Dumfries and Galloway are set to receive £250,000 of events funding.

The money will come from the Council’s Major Events Strategic Fund, and Councillors will be asked to approve it at the Policy and Resources committee next week.

The festivals that could benefits from the funding are:

  • Pipe Bands Competition in Annan
  • Eden Fesitval
  • Electric Fields
  • Galloway Hills Rally
  • International Musicians Platform
  • Knockengorroch World Ceilidh
  • Lockerbie Jazz Festival
  • Merrick Stages Rally
  • Pack Up Your Troubles Festival
  • Sheep Dog Trials
  • Trophy D’Ecosse
  • World Championship Ice Hockey

The council says the money will help to deliver successful events and thus provide significant economic benefits for the local economy.

“Building the local economy is the number one priority of the Administration. As part of our budget, we have agreed a dedicated fund of £250,000 to support major events and festivals in our region.

"Over the past couple of years, Dumfries and Galloway has provided some top quality events. This funding will allow us to invest in even more money to grow and develop a wider variety of sporting and cultural events."

– Cllr Colin Smyth,Council Events Champion
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