The Forth Bridges Festival’s attempt to stage the ‘World’s Biggest Sit Down Lunch’ was given a significant boost today as it was confirmed organisers Queensferry Ambition would receive £25,000 from the Homecoming Scotland 2014 Food and Drink Fund.
The Festival was one of a number of Homecoming events awarded money from the special £250,000 fund dedicated to promoting Scottish food and drink in 2014 announced by Rural Affairs Secretary, Richard Lochhead.
The world record attempt will take place on Saturday 13 September 2014 as part of a ten day celebration of Scotland’s iconic bridges to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Forth Road Bridge.
The ‘Scotland Welcomes the World’ lunch will provide a feast of entertainment for participants across two locations in North and South Queensferry. Attendees will enjoy a traditionally Scottish Homecoming-themed lunch while dressed in 1960’s outfits to honour the Road Bridge which was built in 1964.
Seven events received money from the Homecoming Scotland 2014 Food and Drink Fund including Whisky Month (£45k), John Muir Festival (£10k), Bannockburn Live (£50k), Ryder Cup Opening Concert (£20k), Highland Homecoming (£30k), and the Edinburgh International Science Festival (£20k)*.
As well as showcasing the best of Scottish produce at the events, the fund will provide event organisers with expert support in developing their food and drink offering through a series of one-to-one sessions and workshops, delivered by food and drink consultants, Experiencing Scotland.
The workshops, which will take place in Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh, will ensure organisers benefit from expert advice and ideas for including fresh, local and seasonal produce from quality Scottish suppliers.
Food and drink is a key theme for Homecoming Scotland 2014 and builds on the success of the Year of Food and Drink celebrations in 2010. The investment will help increase the number of food and drink producers involved in events and promote the distinct role that food and drink plays in shaping Scotland's cultural identity and heritage.
Richard Lochhead, Rural Affairs Secretary said:
“The Forth Road Bridge is one of this country’s most iconic landmarks and what better way to celebrate its 50th birthday than with another icon of Scotland – our fabulous array of food and drink. Our magnificent natural larder continues to attract huge interest abroad and helps to market Scotland to the world as a Land of Food and Drink - an important ingredient as we encourage people to celebrate their Scottish heritage during Homecoming. Our local communities play an integral part in the food and drink industry and it’s great to be able to support them by bringing events to their areas.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
“From a magnificent haggis supper, to deliciously fresh salmon, to a tantalising glass of whisky, food and drink plays an integral part in Scottish culture. The country generates over £2million per day through food and drink tourism, so it is hugely important that we provide the very best products. Supporting local suppliers is key to ensuring communities throughout Scotland benefit from Homecoming events in their area and I, for one, can’t wait to get tucked in! ”
James Withers, Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive said:
“Scotland’s food and drink community is hugely excited about 2014. Homecoming events, alongside the Commonwealth Games & Ryder Cup, provide the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase Scotland as a ‘Land of Food and Drink’.
With surging interest at home and overseas in Scottish produce, next year’s events will be a real culinary celebration, shining a light on our talented producers. We’re ambitious and we want to set a new benchmark for quality catering at big events. And there is no better place to do that than at the ‘World’s biggest sit-down lunch’, which should be a feast of world class, local produce.”
Malcolm Brown, Chair of Queensferry Ambition said:
“Queensferry Ambition is grateful for the funding received from the Homecoming Food and Drink fund. This will ensure that this superb one off event is a real success and uniquely showcases Scottish Food and Drink. The world might only be with us for a few hours but we will leave a lasting impression of true Scottish hospitality and a real flavour of these great and historic towns.”
The final £50K is still to be allocated. An announcement will be made in the next 6 months.
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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:
- To market Scotland to all parts of the world to attract visitors
- To provide information – and inspiration – to visitors and potential visitors so they get the best out of a visit to Scotland
- 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.
- 2014 is the year Scotland welcomes the world, when it hosts the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and more than 800 Homecoming events throughout the country.For more information on Homecoming Scotland 2014, go to www.visitscotland.com
- The VisitScotland Information Centre network is a unique face-to-face channel engaging with around five million visitors and locals each year. Everyone who uses a VisitScotland Information Centre goes on to spend an additional £5.35, generating over £24 million for Scotland’s economy.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, tourism employs 270,000 people in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the industry 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.
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