The award-winning Hebridean Celtic Festival has been recognised for its economic and tourism impact on the islands in a motion to the Scottish Parliament, ahead of the event getting under way next week.
Rhoda Grant, a Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, has asked the Parliament to congratulate and commend the organisers and volunteers who run the not-for-profit event.
The 22nd HebCelt will run from 19-22 July in the isle of Lewis with headliners The Waterboys, Imelda May, Dougie MacLean and Lucy Spraggan, along with a host of other international acts, performing in Stornoway and island communities.
The motion recognises that HebCelt is “firmly rooted in the community and is almost entirely managed and produced by voluntary effort”.
It also praises the record-breaking 2016 festival which generated £2.2 million and helped safeguard 40 tourism-related jobs, while highlighting the event has been worth £20 million to the islands’ economy over the last two decades.
Over its four days, HebCelt more than doubles the population of Stornoway, with over half of the attendees coming from off-island, including from across the UK, Europe, Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.
In addition, the motion acknowledges that HebCelt is renowned for its support and promotion of both emerging talent and the Gaelic language and culture, and commends the organisers for also curating the opening concert for Scottish acts at the annual Interceltique de Lorient, the largest Celtic festival in Europe, which will take place in Brittany in August.
HebCelt director Caroline Maclennan said: “Planning and running the festival takes a lot of time and hard work by a great many people, so it is very rewarding when that is recognised.
“We are extremely grateful to Rhoda Grant for lodging this motion highlighting the festival’s success as the countdown to this year’s event continues.”