Backing for clans

Scottish Clan Event Fund helps boost international visitors.

A total of 11 community events spanning nine local authorities are receiving support of more than £48,000 in 2018 from the Scottish Clan Event Fund.

The fund supports events that engage local communities and encourage international visitors. For the sixteen events funded last year, receiving £47,550, VisitScotland estimate 60% of those attending were international visitors and the net economic impact of the events was in excess of £1.7 million.

The 2018 grants include £5,000 to the Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust, for a commemoration event planned on 15 September.

As she met representatives of the Heritage Trust, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop confirmed the Clan Fund would support further events in 2019 and 2020 through the next funding round, to open to applications at the end of May.

Ms Hyslop said:

“Scotland’s rich history is a huge draw for visitors from around the world. And with up to 50 million people globally claiming Scottish ancestry, we know that our cultural heritage is one of our unique selling points as a ‘must visit’ destination.

“The Scottish Clan Event Fund is about tapping into that market and – crucially – supporting clan organisations to connect with and involve people within their local communities.

“Events are taking place this year the length and breadth of the country, from Orkney to Argyll. The plans in Prestonpans are significant as they demonstrate the expansion of community-focused activities into areas not traditionally associated with Scottish clans.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said:

“The 11 events receiving funding from the latest round of the Scottish Clan Event Fund are a wonderful addition to our vibrant portfolio of events and festivals in 2018.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the Clan Event Fund plays an important role in delivering this by ensuring visitors looking to explore their ancestry and connect with Scotland’s heritage are offered an authentic and engaging experience.”

Arran Johnston, Executive Trustee of the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust said:

“We’re delighted to be working with the Scottish Clan Event Fund to hold a really engaging commemorative event to mark the first-ever memorial to those who fell at the Battle of Prestonpans.

“With this support we’ll be able to put on an exciting and fitting event in September, taking the story of the clans and regiments of the '45 out into our community. The Clan Event Fund is helping us raise awareness among local audiences of their rich historical assets, as well as bringing visitors to East Lothian, which is crucial for economic development.”


The 11 events supported in 2018, totaling £48,050, are:

  • £3,850 for Tartan Ties, Clan Hay (Aberdeenshire)
  • £5,000 for Clan Gregor International Gathering (Argyll and Bute, and Stirling)
  • £5,000 for World Gathering of MacIntyres (Argyll and Bute)
  • £5,000 for Dedication of Prestonpans 1745 Memorial Tables (East Lothian)
  • £2,700 for Clan Stewart Gathering (Fife)
  • £4,350 for Clan MacLennan International Gathering (Highland)
  • £5,000 for Clan Macleod Parliament (Highland)
  • £5,000 for Clan Gunn Society International Gathering (Orkney)
  • £2,500 for Clan Oliphant Gathering (Perth & Kinross)
  • £4,700 for Clan Donnachaidh Gathering (Perth & Kinross)
  • £4,950 for Hawick Reivers Festival (Scottish Borders)

The Scottish Clan Event Fund is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s events directorate.

A total of 11,808 people attended the funded events in 2017.

In 2016, 9% of overseas visitors cited connecting with their Scottish ancestry as motivation for coming to Scotland (Scottish Visitor Survey 2016).

The Battle of Prestonpans Heritage Trust will stage a battle re-enactment on 15 September, alongside unveiling memorial tables to those who died in what was a significant conflict of the second Jacobite Rising.


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