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Blockbuster summer makes £9 million for Perth and Kinross

Noel Gallagher at Scone Palace in May 2018
Noel Gallagher at Scone Palace in May 2018

An action-packed summer of blockbuster events has netted millions of pounds for Perth and Kinross.

Former Oasis frontman Noel Gallagher helped kick start the region’s sun-kissed season in May with a headline set at the BBC’s Biggest Weekend Festival in the grounds of Scone Palace.

It was one of several key summer events that has helped plough nearly £9 million into the local economy.

Perth and Kinross Council officers have been busy analysing the success of this year’s big shows.

They have calculated that among the main attractions, the Scottish Game Fair brought in £2.5 million to the area, while ’80s extravaganza Rewind boosted the economy by £1.6 million.

Figures for the Biggest Weekend have yet to be revealed by the BBC, but it is expected to be around the £2.5 million mark.

Meanwhile, the Etape Caledonia cycle event made about £1 million for the Highland Perthshire patch, and the dramatic weekend of medieval combat at Scone is thought to have generated a similar amount.

The totals are based on the amount of extra footfall brought to the area, as well as the boost to local hotels, restaurants and shops.

The busy summer follows the success of Perth’s burgeoning Winter Festival, which made about £1.8 million and attracted 117,000 people to the city.

The new Riverside Nights event, featuring after-dark illuminations along the Norie-Miller Trail, has emerged as another feather in the region’s cap, attracting a net additional economic impact of nearly £120,000.

Stephen Brannigan, head of house opening at Scone Palace, said: “This summer’s exceptional weather has given Scone Palace a fantastic opportunity to showcase our five-star visitor attraction to guests from both home and abroad.

“Globally a number of high profile events, including BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend, International Medieval Combat Federation World Championships, Rewind and the GWCT Scottish Game Fair, really established our credentials as not just a tourist destination but also as an exciting events’ venue with press coverage reaching as far as Perth, Australia.”

Conservative councillor Angus Forbes, the local authority’s environment and infrastructure convener, said: “It is very clear that we have a rich array of things to see, do and enjoy here in Perth and Kinross and we want to encourage more people to come and experience what we have to offer.

“While we look forward to welcoming major events like the Solheim Cup in 2019, the key challenges for the future are attracting new events of scale, sustaining current events, and meeting visitor needs in terms of accommodation and associated services during busy periods.”

He added: “We will continue to look for new ways to support the tourism and events sector locally, together with operators and national organisations like VisitScotland and EventScotland.”

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