A popular festival has been cancelled, with its hostess The Duchess of Argyll criticising the local authority for its lack of funding.
The Best of the West Festival has taken place annually in September since 2011 in the grounds of Inveraray Castle, home of the Duke and Duchess.
Specifically geared as a family-friendly event to boost the economy of Argyll in a quieter part of the tourist season, the weekend provided a showcase for west coast talent including music, artists, food and drink producers and craftsmen.
It brought in more than £1million to the local economy every year.
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The organisers applied for £11,000 from Argyll and Bute Council, but at a meeting last month, members of the authority’s policy and resources committee approved officers’ recommendation that the event should receive no council funds.
A note in the officers’ report said: “Expenditure shown to exceed income even with the ask to the council included, and therefore not one in terms of best practice to support.”
The Duchess said: “The reality is that we receive no government support and Argyll and Bute Council have withdrawn their financial assistance whilst providing significant funding to other similar events. Funding available from some local community sources has also been consistently denied despite the proven local interest and economic benefits.
“I wish all festivals and events in Argyll all the best for 2019 and onwards; I know they do a fantastic job in promoting the area and look forward to attending and enjoying some of them with my family.
“It is a huge regret that we can no longer deliver a family festival beneficial to the community in this part of Argyll but to bring a freshness and a continuity to this, or any event, requires support both financial and in kind.
“I know many people, including our supporters, employees, local businesses and those who planned to attend this year will be greatly disappointed, but it is best to let everyone know now.”
Last year the council provided £2,500 for the Business Gateway Craft Tent and £1,000 for a drinks reception.
A spokesman said: “We are disappointed that BOWFest will not go ahead this year. We provide funding where possible for events. However, it should be noted that our contribution to Bowfest has been low-level and on an ad-hoc basis, rather than as a key partner. Given ongoing cuts to our budgets, expectations of councils have to be realistic and events have to be commercially sustainable.”