Eleven community events involving nine local authorities across Scotland will get funding of £48,000 this year. The money will support local events designed to encourage international visitors, and follows a similar level of funding last year.
VisitScotland say that 60% of the 11,808 people who attended the funded events last year were from overseas and the economic impact was over £1.7 million.
Included in the 2018 grants there is £5,000 earmarked for the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust for their event on 15 September 2018.
The Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop met representatives of the Trust and said that the Clan Fund will also support events in 2019 and 2020 with applications open to the end of May.
Ms Hyslop said: “Scotland’s rich history is a huge draw for visitors from around the world. And with up to 50 million people globally claiming Scottish ancestry, we know that our cultural heritage is one of our unique selling points as a ‘must visit’ destination.
“The Scottish Clan Event Fund is about tapping into that market and – crucially – supporting clan organisations to connect with and involve people within their local communities.
“Events are taking place this year the length and breadth of the country, from Orkney to Argyll. The plans in Prestonpans are significant as they demonstrate the expansion of community-focused activities into areas not traditionally associated with Scottish clans.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “The 11 events receiving funding from the latest round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund are a wonderful addition to our vibrant portfolio of events and festivals in 2018.
“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Clan Event Fund plays an important role in delivering this by ensuring visitors looking to explore their ancestry and connect with Scotland’s heritage are offered an authentic and engaging experience.”
Arran Johnston, Executive Trustee of the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Scottish Clan Event Fund to hold a really engaging commemorative event to mark the first-ever memorial to those who fell at the Battle of Prestonpans.
“With this support we’ll be able to put on an exciting and fitting event in September, taking the story of the clans and regiments of the ’45 out into our community. The Clan Event Fund is helping us raise awareness among local audiences of their rich historical assets, as well as bringing visitors to East Lothian, which is crucial for economic development.”