Call to play part in Homecoming

LOCAL MSP Nigel Don has called on communities to ensure Angus has its fair share of involvement in celebrations for the second Year of Homecoming in 2014.

In the year that the country will host the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup, there will be a nationwide programme of events run throughout the 12 months to raise Scotland’s profile internationally.

The first Year of Homecoming in 2009 was initiated to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns as well as to attract people of Scottish ancestry to visit Scotland. The campaign was organised by EventScotland and VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Mr Don raised the matter at last week’s First Minister’s Questions, seeking assurances that communities across Angus and the Mearns would benefit from the year-long celebration incorporating areas across Scotland.

First Minister Alex Salmond said he was keen to see even more events in 2014 and encouraged local authorities and communities to work together to put forward proposals for events in their area.

Mr Don said: “The first year of Homecoming provided a boost to the Scottish economy of £54 million, and I am keen to ensure that our local communities as well as our cities can benefit during the second year of homecoming in 2014.

“I am encouraged that the First Minister is keen to top the 400 events held in 2009. Angus and the Mearns has a lot to offer the celebrations in 2014, and I would encourage local authorities and local communities to work together to put forward proposals to EventScotland.”