Funding boost for North Ayrshire to celebrate Year of Coasts and Waters 2020
Posted on 26 Apr 2019
This week, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to fund £50,000 towards the development of a programme of events to celebrate the Scottish Government’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.
The exciting programme, which aims to put the spotlight on North Ayrshire, includes ambitious plans to host a signature event – the Making Waves Festival – planned for Irvine Beach Park in summer 2020.
It is proposed the event will have a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and on active and healthy lifestyles. A number of smaller events will celebrate the area’s heritage and its lively arts and culture scene as well as building strong communities.
The full events programme will reflect the Council’s tourism ambitions and showcase the new tourism route – the Coig, which is due to be launched later in 2019.
Officers will now submit an application to Events Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters Fund and additional support will be sought from the Scottish Government to help progress the plans for the Making Waves Festival.
Karen Yeomans, Director of Economy and Communities, said: “Marine and Coastal Tourism is important to North Ayrshire’s economy, it’s the Council’s priority to promote and develop our key natural assets to attract visitors and generate new business. The Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 is an excellent opportunity to encourage more visitors to explore all that North Ayrshire has to offer.
“By hosting a spectacular event at Irvine’s Beach park and hosting a series of small events, we hope to attract an additional 80,000 visitors to North Ayrshire next year, with projected economic impact of over £4.5m, supporting 168 local jobs.”
The Council has also agreed to support a number of local events in 2020 including the Fife Regatta based at Largs Yacht Haven, assisting North Ayrshire’s sailing clubs and marinas in their bids to host sailing events at a national and international level, helping to secure Scotland’s Maine and Tourism Conference 2020 for North Ayrshire.