Moray’s hosting of the European Pipe Band championships could go beyond the three year franchise currently held.
As thousands arrived in Moray this week for Saturday’s ‘Piping Hot Forres’ event, David Urquhart, who is director of sponsorship and marketing at Forres Events Ltd, has said talks are already taking place over the championships returning to Moray in 2016.
The seven years of effort that went into bringing the championships to Forres has been a spectacular success, with the Moray public reacting in their thousands to the championships and those taking part full of praise of the venue and organisation.
On the eve of Saturday’s event insideMoray spoke with Mr Urquhart about the complexities of bringing together 4000 pipers and drummers from around the world.
He said: “When we set off on this project seven years ago it was all about when RAF Kinloss was closing and uncertainty was about the area. It was looking at the future and something that could showcase and promote Forres and Moray and give an economic benefit for the better of the community.
“This event has ticked every single box and the name Piping Hot Forres is promoting Forres world wide.
“We have our third year in 2015 of the three-year block and a lot of decisions have to be made. We have put our name in the hat to put in a bid for another three years, possibly with a new [management] team as this is really time consuming – in the months leading up to this weekend I’ve probably been doing 18 hours a day, seven days a week.
“It costs a lot of money, this is not for the feint hearted – we have to raise over £200,000 plus to put this event on.
“We have really had to push the marketing out this year to make sure that we get more people coming in next year, we want to get more overseas people coming so we had a big campaign especially in Ireland and over to America to see if we could attract other bands.
“Moray is a fantastic place to live and work in but for visitors it has so much to offer.”
Tattie Scone Contest
Meanwhile Moray’s politicians will once again be at Piping Hot Forres seeking to win the title of Champion Tattie Scone producer.
Richard Lochhead MSP and Angus Robertson MP will compete against each other on Saturday in a contest organised by Oakwood Cookery and AEG Appliances.
Mr Lochhead said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Tattie Scone Competition at Piping Hot Forres. The European Championships are set to be a huge success and this competition is a superb addition to the day.
“As Angus and I are going head to head, my lips are completely sealed on what special ingredient I’ll be adding to my tattie scone. I’m not sure who’ll come out on top but I’m excited to be part of this fantastic event.”
Mr Robertson added: “I had a great time when I took part in the Tattie Scone Competition last year. The organisers put in a lot of work for this event and I’m delighted that it’s back for Piping Hot Forres this year.
“Going head to head with Richard certainly gives our heat an extra edge and I’m sure we’ll both enjoy a bit of good, healthy competition between friends.”
Tickets for Piping Hot Forres will be available at the gate on Saturday while a park and ride system will be in operation. Those attending the event are asked to pay particular attention to signposts as they approach Forres.