Council stops short at full backing for three more Piping Hot years

Piping Hot Forres – further three year bid only partially supported.

A bid by Forres to host the European Pipe Band championships beyond its current three-year commitment will be supported by Moray Council – but not to the extent requested.

It was exclusively revealed on insideMoray in June that a bid was being planned to extend the championships in Forres for three years beyond 2015.

Director of Sponsorship for organisers Forres Events Ltd, David Urquhart, told the community news site ahead of the 2014 event that they had put their names in the hat, saying: “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.”

While members of the Council’s policy and resources committee agreed on Tuesday to continue to give financial support should the bid be successful, they decided that would not be as high as the £50,000 a year agreed for the current franchise.

Instead in the event of the bid being successful councillors say they will contribute £15,000 towards the cost of staging the championships in 2016 and £10,000 for each of the next two years.

A request that the local authority guarantee against any losses generated by Piping Hot Forres in the additional three years to the tune of £50,000 each year was also rejected.

Committee chairman Councillor Allan Wright said: “The championships have proved extremely successful and over the past two summers have attracted large crowds to Forres and the committee felt it was appropriate to continue financial backing in the event of the renewed bid being successful.

“However, members were not inclined to agree to underwrite any loss which the championships might incur in future years.”

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