MOKFest organisers in line to receive £11K funding

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The organisers of the Mull of Kintyre Music Festival (MOKFest) are set to receive £11,000 as Argyll and Bute Council looks to boost economic growth as the region recovers from the Covid pandemic.

The Mull of Kintyre Music and Arts Association is one of 11 organisations across the culture, sport and the arts sector that will share in funding totalling £95,300 from the fourth round of the council’s strategic events and festivals (SEF) Fund.

The other successful applicants are Cowal Highland Gathering, Gathering of Cowal Clans, Helensburgh Winter Festival, Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival, Inveraray Highland Games, Jura Music Festival, Mull Rally, Tarbert Seafood Festival, Tiree Wave Classic and West Highland Yachting Week.

Councillors on the authority’s policy and resources committee also agreed to make remaining SEF funds, estimated to be £55,000, available to apply for.

Ahead of the funding being approved, Argyll and Bute Council executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: ‘The events sector contributes significantly to economies across Argyll and Bute and is a key part of the economic recovery plan.

‘Its importance can be demonstrated in the year prior to Covid, for which events part-funded through SEF had an estimated economic impact of £7.5 million.

‘The sector continues to be fragile and is recognised as such by Scottish Government measures to support the sector.

‘It is thought the underspend in budget for SEF round four is reflective of the ongoing impact of Covid and therefore there is a continued need to support the recovery of the sector.

‘For this reason, a further call for applications in this financial year is proposed and any resultant underspend earmarked for future rounds.’

When the successful applicants were announced, Councillor Robin Currie, policy lead for economic growth, said: ‘Events and festivals have played an important part in the economic health of Argyll and Bute in past years. The Covid pandemic, however, has dealt this sector a hard blow.

‘These funding awards are all about supporting the recovery of the local events and festivals industry and through it, the growth of local economies across Argyll and Bute.’

Information on how to apply for the next round of funding will be available on the council’s website and social media channels at the end of February, for applications to be returned by the end of April.