The internationally-renowned Hebridean Celtic Festival has crowned a glittering few months by winning another prestigious national award.

It is the fifth major accolade in five months for HebCelt, making it the most successful period in the event’s 23-year history.

The festival was presented with the Best Cultural Event or Festival title at the Scottish Thistle Awards in Edinburgh.

It had won through to the national final after scooping the regional title at last year’s Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA), an accolade it also won in 2014.

In October, it collected both the Festival of the Year award and the Grand Prix prize for ‘best of the best’ at the Scottish Event Awards. In January HebCelt picked up a Highly Commended accolade at A Greener Festival Awards in recognition of its drive to minimise the event’s environmental impact.

Festival director Caroline Maclennan said: “This is just amazing. It has been a phenomenal period for the festival where we have enjoyed unprecedented success and this latest, national award gives us enormous satisfaction and shows HebCelt is as popular as ever.

“Importantly, these awards also provide us with the opportunity to bring a sharper focus on tourism in the Outer Hebrides and we hope to attract more people to visit our beautiful islands. All our volunteers and those who support this event should be proud of another remarkable achievement.”

HebCelt has generated in excess of £20 million for the islands over more than two decades. It attracts a wide overseas audience, including from across Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

An independent economic impact study of the 2016 festival showed it generated £2.2 million for the economy and helped safeguard 40 tourism-related jobs.

The 2018 HebCelt, which will run from 18-21 July. will be headlined by Deacon Blue, The Fratellis, Eddi Reader, Skippinish and Roddy Woomble.

Day tickets are available exclusively from the festival website. See www.hebceltfest.com.