Support for festivals and events

Dumfries and Galloway Council is determined to make Dumfries and Galloway the best place in rural Scotland in which to plan, manage, deliver and visit great events. For more than fifteen years the Council has overseen the delivery of successive events strategies that have helped grow creative, memorable and sustainable festivals and events in our beautiful region.

The Dumfries and Galloway Events Strategy 2023-2027

Dumfries and Galloway Council has approved a new Events Strategy for the region.  The Strategy will cover financial years 2023/2024 through to 2026/2027 inclusive.  The Strategy follows on and has evolved from the Major Festivals and Events Strategy 2018-2022, that was fully delivered by the Council and its partners, and which created a framework for the economic growth of the events sector until the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020.  This prior Strategy then focused on supporting community events to be established and to take place safely, to contribute towards health and wellbeing across Dumfries and Galloway after the prolonged periods of lockdown.

The Dumfries and Galloway Events Strategy 2023-2027 will continue investment in the Signature Events of the region, and retains the Major Events Fund and Community Events Fund (see below for information on these Two Funds).  The Council will commission and publish Scotland's first Greener Events Toolkit, and monitor funded projects for their economic, social and environmental benefits.

The Council has secured the UCI World Para-cycling Championships in August 2023 for the region.  We will work closely with the project partners to deliver a World Championships that celebrate the endurance and inspirational qualities of the para-cyclists and profiles the wonderful cycling opportunities of our scenic region.

As with the previous four regional Events Strategies of Dumfries and Galloway, the adoption of this Strategy is an empowering act; to empower events organisers to make the most of their vision and skills, to empower communities to become more self-determining, and to assist businesses and agencies to promote sport, heritage, arts and culture in Dumfries and Galloway.

This Strategy aims to sustain the existing events sector through the difficult economic and social times we are living through, to secure the long term future of our superb portfolio of festivals and events for the long term.

The aim of the Strategy

The aim of the Major Events Strategy 2023-2026 is to develop and sustain Dumfries and Galloway as an internationally renowned rural events destination that continuously attracts new visitors to the region.

The Strategy Vision

The Vision is to make Dumfries and Galloway the best place in rural Scotland in which to plan, manage, deliver and visit great festivals and events.

The Strategy objectives are:

  • To deliver the Major Events Strategy 2023-2026 Investment Programme - to act as a catalyst for investment across Dumfries and Galloway
  • To promote collaboration, cooperation and shared knowledge in the regional events sector
  • To work in partnership with events organisers to reduce the carbon footprint of festivals and events in Dumfries


Icon for pdf Download the Executive Summary of the new Strategy [PDF - 1.06MB]

 

The Community Events Fund 2023/2024

Dumfries & Galloway Community Events Fund is to be continued for financial years 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 in recognition of the important role community festivals and events can play in support of community life and wellbeing across Dumfries & Galloway.  The Fund welcomes new applications and also provides an opportunity for the grant-supported festivals and events projects of 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 to apply for follow up funding, if these projects are to continue.  The Fund will also seek to support new and one-off events that provide one means of support for communities to come together to enjoy sport for health and wellbeing, arts and culture, locally important heritage or community events and to mitigate against the cost of living crisis.

The Community Events Fund has a total value of £30,000 for 2023/2024.  The maximum grant that can be applied for is £2,000 and the minimum grant is £500.

The Community Events Fund will open for applications on Monday 17 October 2022 and close for applications on Friday 25 November 2022 at 5pm.

To download the application form and Guidance and Criteria for the Fund, which the Council strongly recommends that all applicants read in advance of completing the application, click below.

Icon for pdf Community Events Fund Criteria and Guidance 2023-2024 [PDF - 189.21KB]

Icon for word Community Events Fund application form 2023-2024 [DOC - 301.5KB]

 

The Major Events Fund 2023/2024

Dumfries & Galloway Major Events Fund has been introduced in recognition of the vibrant role festivals and events play in our regional quality of life and their value in the promotion of tourism and economic regeneration.

The Major Events Fund will open for applications on Monday 17 October 2022 and close for applications on Friday 25 November 2022 at 5pm.

To download the application form and Guidance and Criteria for the Fund, which the Council strongly recommends that all applicants read in advance of completing the application, click below.

Icon for pdf Major Events Fund Criteria and Guidance 2023-2024 [PDF - 209.62KB]

Icon for word Major Events Fund application form 2023-2024 [DOC - 401KB]

 

The Community Events Toolkit and the Greener Events Toolkit

Dumfries & Galloway Council has updated its Events Toolkit in the light of the Coronavirus Pandemic to provide a practical, easy to use resource for Dumfries and Galloway's festivals and events organisers.  The new Community Events Toolkit includes template risk assessments that can be downloaded and amended for events projects such as Fun Runs and community concerts.  There is guidance on all aspects of events planning, including statutory responsibilities such as applying to the Council for licences when required and road or car park closures, and a host of helpful tips for your festivals and events project.

Icon for pdf Download the Community Events Toolkit [PDF - 10.66MB]

Icon for pdf Download Sample Risk Assessment - Fun Run [PDF - 90.55KB]

Icon for pdf Download Sample Risk Assessment - Outdoor Concert [PDF - 87.44KB]

Icon for excel Event Budget Template [XLS - 49KB]

Dumfries and Galloway Council is the first local authority in the UK to commission a Greener Events Toolkit.  This Toolkit is currently in preparation and will replace the Community Events Toolkit in the Spring of 2023.  The new Toolkit will be uploaded here when it is complete.

 

Dumfries and Galloway Events and the Environment Charter

Dumfries and Galloway Council has worked with the UNESCO-designated Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere to produce an Events and the Environment Charter.  Our Council is requesting that all events organisations that secure funding from the Community Events Fund and Major Events Strategic Fund sign up to this Charter on a voluntary basis.  The Charter can be accessed Icon for pdf here [PDF - 122.45KB] .


For any enquires regarding the two funding programmes, or the Events and the Environment Charter, or if you wish to arrange to speak to a Council Officer regarding a possible application, please email events@dumgal.gov.uk.

 

Come Organise Festivals and Events in Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to supporting the work of festivals and events organisers, already based in the region or keen to take forward projects here.  For more information contact events@dumgal.gov.uk.

The region has a competitive advantage in rural Scotland as a location to plan, manage and deliver great festivals and events.  There are many reasons for Dumfries and Galloway's position of competitive advantage regarding rural festivals and events, and these include but are not limited to:

  • The availability of funding, which acts as a clear incentive, from the Council and other sources such as Community Benefit programmes, EventScotland and Trusts unique to our region such as the Holywood Trust and the Galloway Association of Glasgow
  • The emergence of the themes towns e.g. Wigtown, Scotland's Book Town and Kirkcudbright artists' town, and the need for high quality festivals, events and exhibitions to drive forward this branding
  • The vibrant voluntary sector and the high levels of social capital in our region
  • Our towns and villages have strong senses of local identity, which manifests itself in festivals and events development
  • The consecutive events strategies that have assisted the regional events sector
  • The sector has a virtuous cycle of development, learning, peer support and expansion
  • We have regional distinctiveness, in our heritage, landscape and geography which makes our events distinctive and stand out in a crowded national market
  • A high percentage of creative people and early retired people capable of facilitating and managing events development
  • Festivals and events in many locations have replaced traditional entertainment such as cinemas, which are rare in Dumfries and Galloway

 

Page last updated: 17/10/2022
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