A popular book and arts festival in Nairn has been saved following a successful fundraising effort which generated £15,000 in a month.
The campaign for the Nairn Book and Arts Festival was sparked in early April after national arts development agency confirmed it would not be giving organisers a grant this year.
Donations raning from £1 to £1,500 from the general public, local fundraising efforts by community groups, and contributions from businesses across the Highlands raised the total needed to plug the funding gap.
Tickets will now go on sale for the September festival, which attracts audiences of more than 5,000, on June 20.
David Godden, chairman of the Nairn Book and Arts Festival Committee, said: “We’re immensely relieved to be able to safeguard the festival for this year, and hugely grateful to everyone across the Highlands and beyond who has supported us and given so generously.
“We have an even stronger sense, now, of how valued the festival is by our community and regular festival visitors. The fundraising campaign has had some positive effects – it has brought the community together, and raised the profile of the festival, resulting in support from new sources.
“It was very definitely a one-off, though, and we’ll be working hard to ensure that we get the support we need from Creative Scotland and other funding sources for ongoing festivals. In the meantime, though, we have an excellent festival to deliver, come September.”
Nairn Book and Arts Festival – now in its 14th year – has played host to some stellar names in literature, including Iain Banks, William Dalrymple, James Kelman, Liz Lochhead and Carol Ann Duffy.
Recent speakers have also included Kate Adie, Kirsty Wark, Ann Widdecombe, Simon Calder and James Naughtie.
Almost 100 events have been planned for this year’s festival including literary talks, music, poetry and visual art, writing and art competitions and free children’s events.
When the fundraising appeal began, Creative Scotland said its open project fund, to which the Nairn festival applied, is only able to support about 30% of applications.
Grants of £9,600 were awarded to the festival for the past two years, but this year the festival organisers applied for a £20,000 grant which was turned down.