ALMOST A BLINK of the eye after the superb European Pipe Band Championships in Forres, planning is already under way for the 2018 event.
Young People will be the main focus when Piping At Forres returns to Grant Park next year – reflecting 2018, the Year of Young People.
Alan James, Chairman of Forres Events Limited, the company that runs Piping At Forres, told insideMORAY this week: “We are pleased that Piping At Forres 2017 included so many young people, including over a thousand young competitors, and exciting hands-on activities for younger visitors.
“We are already planning how we can build on that and make Piping At Forres 2018 even more exciting for all our visitors, competitors and volunteers, but with an additional focus on younger people.”
The Year of Young People is a Government-backed scheme to get organisations to recognise and value the importance that young people play in the world. It follows on from the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology this year, and Innovation, Architecture and Design in 2015.
Alan added: “Forres Events is very proud of the achievements of Piping At Forres, the European Pipe Band Championships, and the excellent day out it provides for thousands of people from Forres, Moray and as far away as Australia!
“Forres is now known by thousands as a place that gives a warm welcome to visitors, that has a beautiful park and countryside and that is worth visiting more than once!”
The championships have been held in Forres for five years – with 2018, sadly, being the last time the event will be hosted by Forres Events Ltd – who will look in other directions.
Alan said: “Our volunteers, sponsors and local businesses provide dedicated and magnificent support for the event but we think that after June 2018 the time will be right for a change.
“Forres can and does put on excellent events and this gives us an opportunity to think about supporting the community in new and different ways.”
The company is run on a not-for-profit basis to the economic and general benefit of the local area, and Piping At Forres has created a boost to the local economy estimated at over a million pounds for each year since its inception in 2013.
Alan said: “We are already in discussion with potential sponsors and stallholders to see how we can further develop some of the highlights of this year’s event to make Piping At Forres 2018 the best yet.
“We know that some of the bands from Australia are hoping to be able to come back to Forres next June so we hope to have an excellent turnout of competitors.”
Opportunities for local businesses to become sponsors are available, and those who want to apply for stalls should be aware that the application process will open in January 2018. Further information is available on the website.