THE Enchanted Forest, the multi-award winning Perthshire Big Tree Country event, which this year attracted over 26,000 visitors to the Highland Perthshire area, is calling on the local business community to get behind it with a bold and unprecedented move to raise £40,000 of private funding from the businesses that the event directly benefits.
In recent years The Enchanted Forest, which is set to return to nearby Faskally Wood for its tenth anniversary show in 2012, has successfully transitioned from being run by public sector agencies, to being run by a not-for-profit Community Interest Company.
However, with public funding hard to come by, and ever-increasing costs of running the event, the Community Interest Company directors are asking the hundreds of local businesses who directly benefit from the event to help provide the financial backing needed to ensure The Enchanted Forest’s ongoing economic input to the area.
Eddie Thomson, chair of the Highland Perthshire Area Community Interest Company, commented “This has been a tremendous year for the event, winning four major awards and attracting over 26,000 visitors to the area and we’re really very keen for that success to continue into 2012.
“Over half of The Enchanted Forest customers stay overnight in the area and with increased numbers attending, the overall economic impact of the event is now estimated to be in the region of £1.5million benefit to the local economy.
“In our most recent feedback survey we asked our customers to tell us which businesses they spent money with while in the area and well over 250 businesses were mentioned by name, ranging from restaurants to take aways, from hotels to retail shops.
“If each of those businesses were to pledge just £160 then we would have the necessary capital we need to continue to run the event.
“It’s not much to ask when you consider the sheer extent of the economic impact of the event is almost 10,000 times that much per business – that’s an exceptional return on investment.”
Businesses are being invited to attend an open meeting at Fishers Hotel, Pitlochry, at 7pm on Tuesday 20th December, 2011 where there will be an open and public discussion around the future of The Enchanted Forest and how they can play an active role in ensuring its success continues.
To register attendance at this meeting, contact Eddie Thomson, chair of the Highland Perthshire Area Community Interest Company by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Enchanted Forest was founded in 2003 and this year has acquired a string of accolades including the Event Management Grand Prix at the Scottish Event Awards, Best Cultural Event, Event of the Year at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards and the Community Award at the Perthshire Big Tree Country Awards.
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