Scotland seeks event head

A joint venture between the Scottish government and tourist authority VisitScot-land to turn the country into a leading European event destination is looking for someone to head the initiative.

EventScotland launches this month and will receive £10m of funding from the Scottish Executive over the next three years. A director based in Edinburgh is due to be in place by June.

Scotland's First Minister Jack McConnell outlined the idea of EventScotland at a conference for tourism operators late last year. The plan now includes developing a raft of sporting and cultural events in Scotland up to and including 2015, exploring ways to develop existing events and to build on Scotland's international image for hosting events.

Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre chief executive Mike Closier welcomed the initiative.

"We will maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Executive and it's wonderful that we will be able to plan events long into the future," he said.

"Local councils can't usually commit budgets past three years so this is a very positive move that will see a host of new event activity brought to the country."

Scottish minister for tourism, culture and sport Mike Watson commented: "I hope the private sector will match our willingness to invest in and support events throughout Scotland."

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