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Battle on to keep the city's Bruce Festival

Published: 2 Jul 2009 08:200 comments

DUNFERMLINE"S popular Bruce Festival has been rescheduled for August - but there"s no guarantee yet that it will be continued by the new Dunfermline Business Improvement District (BID) next year.

This year"s festival, the fourth since it started in 2006, will take place on 15th-16th August, with crowds of between 15,000-20,000 expected.

It will also be the last one run by Dunfermline City Centre Management, before Dunfermline BID takes over from next year.

Dunfermline businesses voted in favour of a BID last month and a new company will be set up to take forward projects in the business plan for the city.

However, city centre manager Susan Hughes said she could not say if the event would be continued when it takes over.

She said, 'It"s up to the BID to decide if they want to continue running it. They do want to put on more festivals and events but it"s something that will be under review.

'The Bruce Festival is on the business plan, it"s just a matter of what they want to do.

'Hopefully, the new BID company will be formed in the next couple of months and they will look at the business plan again and come to a decision, not just on the Bruce Festival, but on other projects that businesses want to see delivered.

'But we will definitely know this year.'

Ms Hughes also said that funding for this year"s festival was the 'smallest' in the event"s history.

She said, 'I"m working with between £25,000-30,000 but it"s just a start and we"ll be building on that. There are lots of things we would like to add to it but to put on the Bruce Festival we would like, we wouldn"t get much change out of £130,000.

'This is the smallest funding we"ve ever had to put it on but this year we"re putting on a better show than previous years in terms of content, because of the support in kind from our supporters, like the Scottish Lime Centre, Clanranald Trust, Strathleven Artizans and Mary Hipwell from McIlroy Hipwell Solicitors.

'But hopefully now that we have BID it will open up other avenues, like Events Scotland and Fife Council"s events fund, which we have never been able to tap into because it has criteria that we were not able to match.

'The council are behind us 100 per cent and are very keen for us to take it to the next level.

'It"s been tiny steps over the last four years but finally we hope we will get something that people have been asking for and what Dunfermline deserves.'

The festival has been held in June the last two years and Ms Hughes said it was reverting to August to attract the many visitors who would be in Edinburgh and Scotland at that time.

This year"s event will again feature jousting, with teams of knights and horses competing for the 'Bruce Sword of Honour'.

There will also be a spectacular outdoor re-enactment, tents showcasing demonstrations of combat, costume and armoury and the life of a knight on campaign, a medieval tented village, as well as the highly popular children"s battle.

A full listing of the event is available at www.visitdunfermline.com.

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