Funding agreed for Orkney Science Festival

Earl's Palace in Kirkwall, one of the OISF venues. Picture: Wknight94 [CC]

Earl's Palace in Kirkwall, one of the OISF venues. Picture: Wknight94 [CC]

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ORKNEY Islands Council has agreed a three-year package of funding for the Orkney International Science Festival - the oldest science festival in the world outside Edinburgh.

The package will involve an Economic Development Grant totalling £75,000 which will cover the 2014, 2015 and 2016 festivals.

A council spokeswoman explained: “The Orkney International Science Festival was established in 1991 and is now the oldest Science Festival in the world outside Edinburgh. Held in early September, it runs for a week and exists to promote interest in science and technology through workshops, talks, presentations, exhibitions and other events.

“Each year it attracts a number of high profile speakers, as well as other visitors interested in the festival content. It also delivers science and technology activities to schools covering topics which have been directly requested by the teachers, allowing pupils to access relevant events that they might usually have to go to the mainland to attend.”

Councillor James Stockan, chairman of the council’s Development and Infrastructure Committee, said: “The Orkney International Science Festival pulls together a wide range of specialist science disciplines and allows access on many levels to an interested and engaged public.

“We were pleased to support the festival with this important grant as it brings not only a great deal of visitors to Orkney at what is traditionally the end of the tourist season but also helps to support the development of careers in science and technology.”

He added: “By bringing the festival direct to the schools, pupils have been able to see first-hand what a career in science could really look at and this is particularly important as Orkney continues to be at the forefront of emerging renewable technologies.”

William Annal, the festival’s vice-chairman, welcomed the new funding package. He said: “The council’s core funding is the key to the Festival’s future as several other funding sources are conditional on local support. The three-year package gives the Festival the opportunity to plan ahead, book major speakers, and further develop its marketing.”

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