Conference fund brings £70m boost to Scotland

Scotland’s economy is in line for a £70 million boost thanks to a fund that has helped attract almost 30 conferences.

The events, which span everything from life sciences and education to food and renewable energy, have all applied for financial support from the VisitScotland bid fund, which was set up last March.

To date, £722,000 worth of funding has helped to confirm 29 conferences, which will bring a combined 44,000 delegates to Scotland over a five-year period, tourism bosses yesterday predicted.

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The fund was set up to help attract events to all areas of Scotland, not just those taking place at big city centre venues. Recent examples include the Adventure Conference on Skye and the Society of Biblical Literature at St Andrews University.

Neil Brownlee, the head of VisitScotland’s business tourism unit, said: “The conference bid fund is hugely important to Scotland. Business tourism is a key sector supporting not only conference centres and hotels throughout the country, but hundreds of other operators not normally associated with tourism, such as AV companies, independent caterers and unique venues.”

The economic impact of an individual conference is based on a number of factors, including duration, location and the number of delegates.