Plans for Homecoming 2014 events revealed, as organisers encouraged to apply for funding

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HomecomingScotlandAn all-star concert to herald the opening of the Ryder Cup, a huge flotilla to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Forth Road Bridge, Europe’s biggest brass band festival and the re-enactment of the Battle of Bannockburn are just some of the events planned for Scotland’s 2014 Year of Homecoming.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond officially unveiled yesterday the first phase of the year-long programme of events at Hopetoun House, near South Queensferry, alongside Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland.

VisitScotland and EventScotland are working in partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver Homecoming 2014, which will see a series of events celebrate Scottish culture.

Around 100 events were unveiled at the launch, with hundreds more expected to be unveiled over the next few months.

Brand new events include the John Muir Festival in East Lothian to herald the opening of the John Muir coast to coast route, the Forth Bridges Festival to mark its 50th anniversary, the Ryder Cup Opening Concert, the Findhorn Bay Arts Festival in Moray, the World Sheepdog Trials in Tain and the European Festival of Brass in Perthshire.

Many existing events, including Hogmanay, Edinburgh Festivals, the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, the Edinburgh Mela Festival, the Royal National MOD, the Turriff Show, the East Neuk Festival, the Outdoor Orkney Festival and Tweedlove Bike Festival will receive funding for new additions to their planned programmes for 2014.

An events fund of £3 million will provide an all-year-round programme of activity to complement the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games and it will be backed by a £1.75m marketing campaign by VisitScotland which will promote Homecoming 2014 at home and abroad.

Cantlay explained: “With the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, the eyes of the world will be firmly on Scotland in 2014. Next year’s Homecoming will position our country as dynamic and creative with a rich history and culture.

The exceptional events unveiled today will celebrate everything that is great about Scotland and will ensure that the world will receive the most spectacular of welcomes in 2014.”

Homecoming Scotland 2014 is being led by Tom Chambers who joined the team at EventScotland in February as Homecoming Scotland director. Prior to this Chambers was major projects manager with the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.