Organisers of a Moray bagpiping bash are looking to the future following a successful bid to stage the event for a further three years.
The Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association has approved plans to run the Piping at Forres championship competition until 2018.
Forres Events Ltd has overseen the European Pipe Band Championships in the town since 2013, and the success of the inaugural two events convinced association bosses to approve the extension.
Last summer’s showcase attracted 18,000 fans, and brought an estimated £1million revenue to the area.
Chairman of Forres Events Ltd Ian Widdowson said: “When we first looked at the idea of hosting the championships we had no idea that they would be such an incredible success.
“The popularity of the event is based on a lot of hard work from a large number of volunteers and the support of the community, so it is gratifying that their effort not only makes Piping At Forres a great day out for thousands of people but translates into significant economic benefit for Forres and the local area.
“We are delighted that we have been given the opportunity to continue to bring this kind of economic boost to the area for another three years.”
Chief Executive of the RSPBA Ian Embleton said: “This is one of the most successful championships in recent years and the board of directors was unanimous in awarding this to Forres Events Ltd. I look forward to being in Forres for the long term.”
Some 120 pipe bands from around the world will travel to Forres to compete in this year’s event, which will be held on Saturday, June 27, in Grant Park.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead yesterday welcomed the decision.
He said: “It’s fantastic news that the European Pipe Band Championships will be returning to Forres for another three years.
“I’m delighted to see their hard work pay off and I’m sure that Piping At Forres will just keep getting bigger and better.”
Last year the festival was forced to change its name from Piping Hot Forres to avoid a legal dispute, and recently it launched an appeal for sponsors and stall-holders to come forward for this summer’s gathering.