Festival funding pot opens for bids

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Bids open tomorrow for a share of larger than normal funding to put on festivals and events in Argyll.

Carry-overs from previous years when Covid cancelled fun means the council’s Strategic Events and Festival fund now has £150,614 in the pot.

This latest round of funding will cover events  and festivals taking place between April 2022 and March 2023.

To qualify for any money, those events must be of strategic importance to the area.

This is the fourth opportunity event co-ordinators and tourism organisations across Argyll and Bute have been invited to put in a bid as the region continues its recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

The council wants to encourage as many strategic events as possible to put in bids.

Ideally those events will draw in visitors from outside Argyll and Bute, bringing them in from elsewhere in Scotland, the rest of the UK and abroad.

One of the events that will be putting in a bid is Oban’s Winter Festival. A festival spokesperson said: ‘Of course we will be making a bid. It would be very nice to get a share of the funding for our 2022 event.’ At a traditionally quiet time of the year, the November festival attracts a footfall of over 26,935 late season visitors to Oban.

Leader of the council, Councillor Robin Currie, said this funding will provide some much needed support for event organisers and tourist businesses which have been so badly affected by Covid.

He added: ‘Events and festivals are extremely popular with people in communities across our region and also play an enormously important part in attracting tourists to the area.

‘There is clearly still a lot of uncertainty for events companies and the wider entertainment sector but we’re hopeful that the ongoing roll-out of the vaccination programme coupled with the support which the fund provides will deliver a welcome boost to the industry.’

As in previous years, event organisers can forward their bids online at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/events-and-festivals-grants

Any potential bidders have until noon on Monday December 6 to apply.