New funding announced for 2016 themed year

Press release   •   Jun 10, 2015 12:14 BST

A brand new £200,000 events fund created to develop activity to celebrate Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design has been launched by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Applications open today (Wednesday 10 June, 2015) for the events and festivals sector across Scotland to apply for a 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design event grant up to £20,000.

From textiles to technology, architecture to fashion and design, the year-long programme of activity beginning on 1 January until 31 December 2016, will shine the spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets and icons, as well as its hidden gems.

Home to ground-breaking innovators, scientists, engineers, architects and designers for hundreds of years, Scotland will celebrate just some of these contributions during 2016, as well as showcasing the creative and innovative minds that continue to inspire and influence audiences across the globe and the modern world we live in today.

Supporting events from a minimum award of £4,000 up to a maximum award of £20,000, the funding will be awarded to create new event activity or enhance existing event programmes which reflect the themes and support the objectives of the year, promoting Scotland, celebrating our achievements, encouraging participation and engagement and boosting tourism.

Minister for Tourism Fergus Ewing said:

From our first Year of Homecoming in 2009 to our current Year of Food and Drink, the people of Scotland and our visitors have had the opportunity to enjoy our most valuable and celebrated assets. To build on this momentum, the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund will be used to deliver a series of events that take place across the country and throughout the year to celebrate all that is great about Scotland.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said:

“2016 has been designated as a themed year in which Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design will be showcased and celebrated. Themed years give Scottish tourism an edge, galvanise partners and create a strong collaborative platform to promote Scotland and its valuable attributes.”

“We are delighted to launch the dedicated 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund which will help deliver a programme of activity aimed at supporting and driving the nation’s tourism and events sector during this special year.”

2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting year. The planned Festival of Architecture will connect Scottish communities and visitors with architecture through events and exhibitions, Scotland-wide. The National Museum of Scotland turns 150 years old and will open ten new galleries showcasing Scotland’s internationally important collections of decorative art, design, fashion, science and technology.

NVA's plans to resuscitate Kilmahew woodland and St Peter's seminary, the modernist architectural masterpiece will gain pace, the creation of the new V&A Museum of Design Dundee will continue to take shape, and the new Queensferry Crossing - set to be the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world - will officially open.

Applications open for 2016 funding: Wednesday 10 June, 2015

Total Funding: £200,000

Deadline for Applications: Friday 24 July, 2015

Events who wish to apply can do so online by visiting HERE

Notes to Editors

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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation has three key roles:
    1. To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
    2. To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
    3. To provide quality assurance to visitors and quality advice to the industry and partners to help the industry meet and strive to exceed customer expectations
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
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Year of Food and Drink 2015

  • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
  • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
  • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
  • For more information, visit