MTV is to receive a subsidy of more than £1 million to bring its flagship music awards extravaganza back to Scotland.
The Scotsman has learned that national tourism agency VisitScotland and the Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB) have agreed to share the costs of the event, which will be held next November at the city’s new £125m Hydro arena.
When the return of the event, previously staged in Leith Docks a decade ago, was confirmed earlier this month, it was claimed it would generate around £10m for the economy.
But the winning bid to stage the global awards show at the 13,000-capacity Hydro involves a grant of £500,000 from VisitScotland’s events arm and £525,000 from Glasgow’s public-private agency, which is responsible for attracting conferences and major events to the city.
The financial backing has made the money-spinning showcase – expected to feature some of the world’s biggest pop and rock stars – the second most expensive event in the programme for the Year of Homecoming in 2014.
It is only dwarfed by the £1.2m which has been set aside by EventScotland for a gala Ryder Cup opening concert, also to be staged at the Hydro, ahead of the golf tournament being held at Gleneagles.
The bid’s backers pointed out that the event’s global media reach was believed to be upwards of £130m. Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, The Killers, Snoop Dog and Kings of Leon were among the acts to appear at this month’s event in Amsterdam.
A spokesman for GCMB said: “One of the most important aspects of a city’s hosting of the MTV European Music Awards [EMA] is the international profile and media coverage it affords.
“As one of the world’s premier music award shows, it will showcase Glasgow and Scotland to an estimated 700 million households through MTV’s global network of channels and all programming will mention the host city.
“The exposure represents an unprecedented opportunity to profile Glasgow to MTV’s global audience, reinforcing our reputation as one of the world’s leading music cities and positioning Glasgow alongside its key competitors, and previous host cities, including Paris, London, Milan, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin and Madrid.
“Hosting the MTV EMA has a substantial, direct and positive impact on the host city, providing a base on which local businesses, creative industries and the tourism sector can capitalise.”
Mike Cantlay, the chairman of VisitScotland, added: “The MTV European Music Awards is one of the world’s most renowned annual music events and it is fitting that it should return to Scotland in 2014, the year we welcome the world.
“With the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, Homecoming and now this sensational music event confirmed, our portfolio is the envy of many countries and this has recently been recognised by Lonely Planet [travel guides].
“Next year is an exciting, once-in-a-generation opportunity for Scotland to be seen as a globally recognised, must-visit destination. Having events like the MTV awards is a fine endorsement of our major event-hosting credentials.”
The first Year of Homecoming, which VisitScotland was charged with delivering on behalf of the Scottish Government, was staged in 2009 to coincide with the 250th birth of Robert Burns.
A repeat, with a budget of £5.5 million, similar to the previous venture, is being held next year to capitalise on the staging of the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in Scotland.
Other “signature” Homecoming events which have received substantial backing include a three-day festival planned to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, which £400,000 has been earmarked for so far. It is being held separately from the official anniversary and the official opening of a £9 million new visitor centre at the battlefield site, near Stirling, in June.
Unique Events, the firm producing the Bannockburn festival, has received a further £500,000 to stage special “Homecoming” moments at Hogmanay events across the country this year.
A new festival in April celebrating the life and legacy of the conservationist John Muir is receiving £370,000 while a festival marking 50 years of the Forth Road Bridge is being backed to the tune of £200,000.