New tourist trail to get coasts and waters cash

Next year's Fife Regatta will take place at Largs Yacht Haven during the Year of Coasts and Waters.

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North Ayrshire Council’s cabinet has agreed to fund £50,000 towards the development of a programme of events to celebrate the Scottish government’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

The programme will reflect the council’s tourism ambitions and showcase the new tourism route – the Coig, which is due to be launched later this year and includes Arran.

The Coig, which is Gaelic for five, are routes, or rings, that could form tourist trails: The Shire, The Shiel, The Arran, The Bute and The Cumbrae.
This innovative approach will incorporate areas outwith North Ayrshire, into South and East Ayrshires, Inverclyde and Argyll & Bute. From a Clyde islands perspective, it is hoped Arran, Bute and Cumbrae will benefit from promotion of their own routes within The Coig.

The programme also includes plans to host a signature event – the Making Waves Festival – planned for Irvine Beach Park in the summer and a number of smaller events to celebrate the area’s heritage, lively arts and culture scene, as well as building strong communities.

Officers will now submit an application to Events Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters Fund and additional support will be sought from the Scottish government to help progress the plans for the Making Waves Festival.

Karen Yeomans, director of economy and communities, said: ‘Marine and coastal tourism is important to North Ayrshire’s economy, it’s the council’s priority to promote and develop our key natural assets to attract visitors and generate new business. The Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 is an excellent opportunity to encourage more visitors to explore all that North Ayrshire has to offer.