From obstacle courses to scenic trail runs, celebrations of crime writing to health and wellbeing, the latest round of EventScotland’s National Events funding is set to support an exciting array of events and festivals in 2020.

Five events from across Scotland, including three first-time applicants, have been awarded a share of £72,000 in funding from EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. 

Taking place between January and May, the five events from across four local authorities have received the funding from Round 42 of EventScotland’s National Programme Fund to enhance event delivery and to further develop Scotland’s diverse events portfolio.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “EventScotland is delighted to support these five diverse events and festivals through our National Events Funding Programme. I’m particularly delighted three events have applied for funding for the first time. It shows the important role the programme plays not only in developing domestic tourism and generating economic and social impacts to all areas of the country, but also in strengthening our vibrant events portfolio.   We look forward to working with the organisers to develop and grow the profile of their events in the upcoming year.”

Among the recipients are two obstacle course events, MacTuff (5 January) and Beast Race (30 & 31 May), both taking place in the Kingdom of Fife. MacTuff, coined as the toughest obstacle race of its kind in Scotland, will take place at Knockhill Racing Circuit and will see participants battle 7, 15 or 30km of challenging terrain; through mud, water and obstacles, putting their strength and endurance to the testThis is the second time the event has received National Events funding, with the latest award of £6,000 going towards a dedicated social media campaign for UK and Europe.

Already established in Loch Ness and Banchory, the Beast Race series will hold its first-ever event at Loch Ore, which will feature a series of 15km, 6km and children’s races across the weekend. The event consists of mega obstacles; giant water slides; icy loch water; thick mud & swamp crossings and is open to all ages and can be tackled as a group or a solo effort.

Traditionally a one-day affair, the latest addition to the Beast Race series has received a first-time award of £12,000 to support the creation of a second-day offering for children; The Beast Race ‘Wildchild’ challenge, as well as for video production of the children’s and 6km events.

Jonathan Buckland, Director at Zone Eventssaid: We would like to say a massive thanks to EventScotland for their support of the Beast Race at Loch Ore in 2020.  With the National Events Fund we can, for the first time expand the event to include a second family day which will include four fantastic children’s and parents’ obstacle courses races. This support enables us to attract a much wider demographic from further afield and help establish Loch Ore in Fife as an ideal sporting and event location.”

The other events to receive funding from the latest round include:

Run Stirling – Set against the backdrop of Stirling Castle, a festival of running comes to Stirling this January. From the mass participation 7km Castle Run to junior and senior cross-country competitions, runners of all ages and abilities have the chance to take part. The cross-country will also include the Home Countries and Celtic International Games, which will see representatives from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales battle it out for top honours.  Stirling Council has been awarded £25,000 towards the event’s delivery as well as marketing and promotional activities.

Granite Noir – This crime writing festival, presents a programme of author conversations, family events, walks, concerts, theatre, late night noir and exhibitions across Aberdeen, transforming the city into a hub for crime writing lovers of all ages. Drawing inspiration from the Granite City, Granite Noir explores the enduring appeal of stories with dark plots, complicated motives and characters keeping dark secrets. A first-time applicant, the festival has been awarded £25,000 towards its marketing and promotional activities; programming and production.

Scapa Fest – A multi-day outdoor yoga and adventure event designed to help people harness the power of nature to transform their physical health, mental health and the health of their environment. Scapa Fest, which takes place in Ardkinglas Estate, Loch Fyne, brings together global experts in mind-body health, outdoor education and environmental action to deliver nature-based immersive and interactive sessions to families and individuals. Another first-time recipient of funding, an award of £4,000 is made to Scapa Fest towards digital and social media activities.

The National Events Programme is a strategic development programme with eligible events, which take place outside the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, able to bid for a maximum of three rounds of funding. The deadline for the next round of the National Programme is 7 February 2020 with events taking place from August 2020 onwards eligible to applyGuidelines for entry are available on