Funding boost for ploughing championships in East Lothian

The first European Reversible Ploughing Championships to be held on Scottish soil is among 21 events across the country which are receiving backing from the latest round of awards from the EventScotland National Funding Programme, as part of VisitScotland’s work to deliver the national events strategy Scotland the Perfect Stage.

The European Reversible Ploughing Championships (19-20 October) and Scottish Ploughing Championships (22-23 October) both due to take place in East Lothian have been awarded £7,000 in total funding.

Ploughers from 13 countries will compete in the 33rd European Reversible Ploughing Championships at Saltcoats, Gullane – the first time the championships have been held in Scotland. Around 1000 visitors are expected to attend the spectacle involving countries including France, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and Scotland.

The 54th Scottish Ploughing Championships will take place at West Fenton, North Berwick, in front of an expected 2000-strong crowd. Alongside the competition ploughing there will be machinery stands, demonstrations by modern farm machinery as well as vintage machinery and a display of vintage tractors and stationary engines on site.

The ploughing championships and the other 20 forthcoming events across 13 of Scotland’s local authority areas have received a combined total of £232,700 from Round 32 of the National Funding Programme.

The National Funding Programme – which is administered by EventScotland, a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate – was established to enable the strategic development of events taking place outwith Edinburgh and Glasgow, with the aim of driving domestic tourism and increasing economic impact for local communities throughout Scotland.

Thanks to the funding, and in keeping with the objectives of the National Funding Programme, organisers will now be in a position to further develop by extending and enhancing its programme in order to increase attendance figures and improve the overall spectator experience.

John Tait, Chairman of the Scottish Ploughing Championships, said:

“The support from the EventScotland National Funding Programme has enabled us to promote the event to a wider audience than would otherwise have been possible.

“We are looking forward to welcoming ploughers and visitors from all over the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Europe and Russia to East Lothian to showcase the best in modern, vintage, classic and horse ploughing.

“The European event on the 19 & 20 October will be a great contest to select the Champion European Reversible plougher, followed by the 54th Scottish Ploughing Championships on 22 & 23 October with over 200 ploughers competing to be Scottish champions.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“I’m delighted that the Scottish Ploughing Championships have been selected as funding recipients in the latest round of EventScotland’s National Funding Programme. I’m sure that the financial boost combined with the fantastic programme the organisers have planned will ensure they are a superb success.

“These funding awards for regional events provide invaluable support by helping them create an even more attractive proposition to attract increased attendance – not only from their local areas but also from much further afield. That promotes the venues as excellent visitor destinations and contributes greatly to the region’s economy – which is hugely important.”

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