Ayr show joins year of food and drink with funding award

Ayr County Show has been awarded £6000 from VisitScotland and the Community Food Fund and is just one of the mouthwatering special events to be held as part of the Year of Food and Drink.

The show, which is one of the largest of its kind in the west of Scotland, is a celebration of the countryside with livestock judging, trade stands, crafts displays and family entertainment.

This year the show will highlight the important link between ‘field and fork’ in celebration of the Year of Food and Drink.

The Show was among those to receive a share of a £265,000 fund managed by VisitScotland’s event directorate, EventScotland. The Year of Food and Drink event fund, which includes £150,000 contributed by the Community Food Fund, is dedicated to special events staged during the 12 month celebration of Scotland’s natural larder.

Led by VisitScotland, in partnership with Scotland Food & Drink, on behalf of the Scottish Government, the Year of Food and Drink aims to increase and promote Scottish produce across the tourism sector and enhance Scotland’s global reputation as a land of food and drink.

Lorraine Murdoch, Secretary for the Ayrshire Agriculture Association said: “Ayr County Show are very excited to be part of the Year of Food & Drink 2015 - food and drink is very much a part of our event, creating the very important link ‘Field to Fork’ and promoting Ayrshire as destination for quality, locally sourced food and drink.

“The Show is one of the largest shows held in the West of Scotland, attracting visitors from near and far for events ranging from animal competitions to a craft fair, educational activities and more.

“We’re looking forward to another successful year in what will be our 172nd Ayr County Show in our 179th year.”

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead said:

“The Year of Food and Drink is a brilliant opportunity to build on Homecoming 2014, and inspire the people of Scotland and our visitors to celebrate the exceptional food and drink we produce the length and breadth of our country.

“The programme will offer a unique taste of Scotland, and I am delighted that all funded events are being encouraged to increase their use of locally sourced produce by signing up to the Food Charter. This will help to enhance our reputation as a land of food and drink and achieve my vision of Scotland becoming a Good Food Nation.”

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“I am delighted that the hugely popular Ayr County Show has received this funding, allowing them to highlight the importance of local food production.

“Scotland’s outstanding natural larder will be showcased over the next 12 months at events the length and breadth of the country, including the special events supported through the Year of Food and Drink event fund. This is a chance, not just for visitors to sample the best of our natural larder, but for people in Scotland to learn more about what is on our doorstep.

“Last year was all about welcoming the world to Scotland and this year is an opportunity to build on that momentum and use strengths, like our world-famous food and drink, to take Scotland to the world.”

All funded events will now go through a workshop organised by EventScotland to help develop their Scottish and local food and drink offering and enhance the visitor experience.

A further series of special events for July to December 2015 supported through the dedicated events fund will be revealed in the coming months.

For a full list of events visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland