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Ballantrae food festival tempts more visitors to Ayrshire

Press Release   •   Jun 07, 2017 13:04 BST

The extensive and diverse portfolio of events which attracts visitors to Ayrshire & Arran continues to prosper thanks to EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink - which takes place this coming weekend - is amongst 12 events taking place across the country this season which received a share of £140,000 thanks to the latest round of EventScotland’s National Funding Programme.

The festival was awarded £5,000 and the funding has been used to introduce new programming to the event and extend its advertising campaign.

Established in 2015 and run by Ballantrae Development Group, Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink has quickly become a popular annual regional highlight, with over 3,000 attending last year. The event takes place in the wonderful setting of Ballantrae harbour in a large marquee. This provides a stage for over 50 food stalls and several fun cookery demonstrations by local chefs. Visitors also have the opportunity to participate in foraging expeditions and hear talks celebrating the natural heritage and environment of the region - supporting the principles of the UNESCO ‘Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere’ designation and its charter.

Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink Event Organiser, Siobhan Liddington said: We’re aiming for something spectacular again at this year’s festival on Sunday 11th June as we build on the success of the previous two years. For 2017 we have built in two new elements in the lead up to the festival; a Smugglers themed evening in the main marquee on Friday 9th June which taps into our local food and drink history and an ’Edible Cinema’ event at Culzean Castle on Saturday 10th June.

“This area is well known for its high quality local produce and hospitality and we’ve now established a must experience” annual event which attracts visitors from Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway, the Central Belt, Ireland and overseas. We also see it as an opportunity to include an element of education about healthy eating, involving the local school children. We’re also building on the success of Farmers’ Markets and Smugglers’ Festivals which are also held in Ballantrae every year.”

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “Although Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink is a recent addition to Ayrshire & Arran’s annual events calendar, it has already become a real favourite with many visitors so I’m delighted it was included in the dozen events across the country which were selected as recipients of this funding support. I hope as many local people as possible as well as visitors from further afield will be able to come along to this year’s event to enjoy the great entertainment planned.

“The National Funding Programme plays a vital role in maintaining our region’s reputation as a great destination for events which celebrate our culture and heritage whilst delivering economic benefits.

The National Funding Programme supports the strategic delivery of events taking place outside Edinburgh and Glasgow with the aim of driving domestic tourism, delivering economic impact for local communities and generating media profile for Scotland.

Enabling existing events to expand what they offer visitors, extend their marketing reach and enhance the on-site experience of attendees are just some of the ways that National Funding Programme support is used to help regional events continue to flourish and grow further. This in turn strengthens Scotland’s overall events portfolio – a major contributor to our national economy.

The National Funding Programme plays a vital role in maintaining Scotland’s reputation as the ‘perfect stage’ for events. The programme is key to ensuring that the country has an exciting, vibrant portfolio of annual events promoting Scotland’s cultural heritage and delivering positive for local communities.

In addition to the Ballantrae Festival of Food & Drink, the events which received support in the latest (Round 34) awards from EventScotland’s National Funding Programme were:

  • Bonfest*, Kirriemuir, Angus28 - 30 April £12,500
  • Dundee Design Festival 24 – 29 May £20,000
  • Mhor Festival, Lochearnhead,Stirlingshire 26 - 28 May£4,500
  • Oban Live*, Argyll & The Isles2 – 3 June £10,700
  • Eden Festival, Raehills Meadows, Lockerbie, D & G**8 – 11 June£12,500
  • Powerboat P1 Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea, Greenock24 – 25 June£13,000
  • Southern Fried 10 Year Anniversary, Perth 27 – 30 June£8,000
  • ButeFest, Rothesay, Argyll & The Isles28 – 30 June£7,000
  • World Gold Panning Championships*, Moffat, D & G**7 – 8 August£10,500
  • Amazing Ages! *, Fort George, Inverness12 – 13 August£25,000
  • East Lothian Battle Weekends: 2017 Pinkie Cleugh* 16 – 17 August£12,000

*Part of Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 partner event programme.

**D & G – Dumfries & Galloway

For more information on The Ballantrae Food Festival and to buy tickets, visit


For further information contact:

Ellen Drummond, VisitScotland Corporate Press Officer

T: 0141 566 4019; M: 07801 820757; E:

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