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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 11/02/2021

The plight of Scotland’s events and festivals sector is heard and understood at the highest level of Government, the Event Industry Advisory Group has been told following its latest meeting on 11 February 2021.

The group, comprising senior representatives from a range of events sector organisations in Scotland, has robustly represented the interests of the industry since the beginning of the pandemic last year, continually calling for financial support and a clear framework for the planned restart of events.

In its update to the group, the Government Relations workstream and Event Industry Working Group, outlined that strong engagement has taken place at senior levels of Government including direct discussions with Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture.

In its representation to Government the group has outlined the key elements required for the events industry to begin planning a restart as part of a partnership-led route map, which will be taken into account during the Scottish Government’s upcoming review of its COVID-19 Strategic Framework.

The group also heard that a total of £23million in funding support had been secured for the industry since the beginning of the pandemic through a variety of support funds, with the potential for more to be secured in the coming weeks.

The positive engagement with Scottish Government has been a vital element in how the Event Industry Advisory Group has represented the industry in the past year and it is heartening to hear that the message is resonating at the highest level.

Our events sector in Scotland is worth £6 billion so its importance not only economically but to the health & wellbeing and social fabric of Scotland cannot but understated. The professionalism and expertise that exists within the sector is held in the highest regard and I look forward to seeing the EIAG continue to work in partnership with Scottish Government, VisitScotland and other partners to see a safe return of events as soon as it is safe to do so.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events

Elsewhere the group also heard updates on continued engagement with the UK Government and the Department of Media Culture and Sport around requests to support cancellation insurance for event organisers as well as the imminent implementation of a national research project to assess the importance of events and festivals on Scotland’s health and wellbeing.

The date of the next meeting of the EIAG is on Tuesday 2 March. You can read further outputs from the group and representatives from the sector can raise any points for consideration by the group by emailing