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All aboard for 2020 coasts and waters celebration


By Lorna Thompson

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A WAVE of themed events have been unveiled for 2020 – designated Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.

Culture, tourism and external affairs minister Fiona Hyslop marked 50 days to go and unveiled 30 further events for the celebration.

The minister said funding for Lossiemouth’s East Beach footbridge was also a priority for the themed year.

Moray events supported through the Round 2 Year of Coasts and Waters fund include the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival’s Portsoy Ahoy! in summer, which will offer an expanded programme with a focus on the marine environment, and in autumn Findhorn Bay Festival will run a new Source to Sea programme highlighting the culture, heritage and topography of the region’s rivers and coastline.

Events elsewhere include StAnza, Scotland’s International Poetry Festival, which will showcase poets whose work explores and celebrates bodies of water; the British and Scottish National Surfing Champs in Thurso; the Glasgow Canal Festival which will introduce a Canal Carnival Flotilla, a parade of boats adorned with carnival artworks celebrating the city's multicultural communities and the Forth and Clyde Canal; Doon the Watter, a year-long photography trail connecting communities on the west coast and the Highlands and Islands; and Nevis Water Stories, which will involve coastal communities helping to create orchestral music to be performed at a range of locations including beaches, harbours, castles and schools.

(From left) Fiona Hyslop unveil events for Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, with surfers Sally Harris, Owen McQueenie, Brian Allen, Sam Christopherson, Tamzin McQueenie and Martin McQueenie.
(From left) Fiona Hyslop unveil events for Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, with surfers Sally Harris, Owen McQueenie, Brian Allen, Sam Christopherson, Tamzin McQueenie and Martin McQueenie.

Ms Hyslop said The Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 programme was supported by more than £770,000 of Scottish Government funding.

She added: "We are also working across the Scottish Government to deliver several Programme for Government commitments during the Year of Coasts and Waters, including funding Lossiemouth’s East Beach Footbridge, providing £1,000,000 for the repair of The Waverley Paddle Steamer, contributing an additional £400,000 this year for North Ayrshire’s Coig project, launching the new Islands Passport in 2020 and positioning Scotland as a premier destination for adventure activities globally.

"Scotland’s Themed Years have been running since 2009 and we know they are a proven mechanism for us all to work together to create opportunities to diversify our tourism offer whilst promoting Scotland as a great place to visit for people from around the world."

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: "We are inviting the world to dive into the amazing experiences our coasts and waters provide – from water-inspired myths and legends, historic harbours, rich rivers, captivating canals and sweeping coastlines to the very best in seafood, whisky, wildlife and wellness."

The government announced in early September that it would fund a replacement bridge at Lossiemouth after it was closed in July over safety fears.


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