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Scottish Clan Event Fund opens for new applications

Press release   •   May 30, 2017 14:00 BST

  • VisitScotland joins Scottish Government to launch new round of funding for clan events
  • Revised criteria means more clans can benefit from £101m ancestral tourism market

More clans than ever before are set to benefit as EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, opens the latest round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund today (Tuesday 30 May).

Designed to support the growth of clan events and expand the visitor experience across Scotland, the Scottish Clan Event Fund provides grants of between £1,000 and £5,000 for events and activities taking place outside of Edinburgh and Glasgow to clans, clan societies and recognised families.

The latest round of funding has also been extended to include organisations acting on behalf of a clan or clan society. The addition of these organisations, such as community or youth groups, is designed to open the fund up within local communities to promote and celebrate Scotland’s clan histories and encourage visitors to connect with their ancestral roots.

Activities and events eligible for funding include clan and recognised family gatherings, clan games, battle and historical re-enactments, cultural and/or music events, guided walks and tours, historical or ghost tours, ceilidhs and festivals. Funding can also be used to plan events and activities outside the traditional summer period, with St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night providing ideal opportunities.

Eligible events and activities applying for this round of funding must take place between 1 Jan 2018 and 31 Dec 2019. Organisers should also consider where there may be opportunities across planned activity to celebrate Scotland’s 2018 Year of Young People 2018.

Clan tourism is worth £101m to the Scottish economy. Each year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe choose to visit Scotland to explore their ancestry by visiting the homelands of their ancestors. In recognition of the importance of this, the Scottish Government launched the Scottish Clan Event Fund in 2014 and since its inception it has invested more than £128,000 to support 41 events.

In the last round a record 16 events received support, including seven who received funding through the Scottish Clan Event Fund: Splash of Tartan. This was an additional round opened to celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and to support of a programme of clan events taking place across Scotland this August to complement the clans’ engagement with the ‘Splash of Tartan’ programme at The 2017 Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Our clans play an important role in attracting visitors to Scotland, no more so in 2017, the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

“As part of the celebrations of this year, the clans are playing a major part in this year’s Splash of Tartan tattoo. To benefit the clan members taking part in the tattoo, Scottish Ministers agreed to extend the clan fund to support events around their appearance. Seven clans have been successful with almost £10,000 awarded.

“The Clan Event Fund itself has been successful – 26 clans have received funding towards over 40 events in its first four years – which VisitScotland calculates as a £590,000 direct economic impact.

“The latest round of the £70,000 fund is now open for applications from clans and associated bodies. It’s not just for traditional gatherings, but also events embedded in local communities, throughout the year, including during our Winter Festivals.”

Jamie Macnab of Macnab, of the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs, said: “We are grateful for the Cabinet Secretary and VisitScotland, particularly EventScotland, for their ongoing support of the clans. The Scottish Clan Fund has been amazing in supporting events all over the country, especially in the remoter parts of Scotland, and we are delighted it is being continued into 2018/2019. Clans are looking to engage with local communities as well as international visitors in order have greater relevance in modern day Scotland and the updated criteria makes that easier by allowing community groups as well as clans to benefit from the fund.

“We look forward to seeing an array of new events which will attract locals and visitors alike. The images of clans’ folk wearing their tartan in Scotland’s most picturesque locations will be shared around the world and will help boost the profile of our wonderful country.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: The Scottish Clan Event Fund has played an important role in expanding the experiences on offer for visitors looking to explore their ancestry and connect with the heritage of Scotland.

“With the fund now open to a wider range of organisations, more clans than ever before will be able to benefit and we are excited to see the array of events it will be able to support; whether it’s a re-enactments, a ceilidh, or a celebration of one of the Winter Festivals. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Scottish Clan Event Fund is a great opportunity to showcase even more of what we have to offer, including in more rural parts of the country.”

The Scottish Clan Event Fund is administered by EventScotland. Applications to the fund are open until 5pm, Friday 29 September 2017. To find out more, visit


Notes to Editors:

Clans awarded funding the Scottish Clan Event Fund: Splash of Tartan:

Name Start Date End Date Award
Clan Hay 03/08/2017 03/08/2017 £750
Clan MacNab 01/08/2017 04/08/2017 £1,500
Clan Stewart 09/08/2017 11/08/2017 £1,500
Clan Sinclair 14/08/2017 18/08/2017 £1,500
Clan MacKenzie 11/08/2017 15/08/2017 £1,500
Clan Durie 25/08/2017 26/08/2017 £1,500
Clan MacLaren 21/08/2017 26/08/2017 £1,500


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland see www.visitscotland.orgor for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
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    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
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  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit or join the conversation at #HHA2017