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Ross & Cromarty Groups Gear Up for Cultural Celbrations in 2007

12th September 2006

2007 is set to be a memorable year in Ross and Cromarty thanks to the commitment of a large number of voluntary groups who have risen to the occasion by putting in place exciting ideas for a vibrant programme of events throughout the special year of cultural celebration.

The Year of Highland Culture in 2007 will certainly showcase Highland culture and talent throughout Scotland through its ambitious programme of high profile performances and large-scale events. However, the input of local groups also has an important and integral part to play in expressing and celebrating the cultural tapestry of the region's rich and varied way of life. Participation from local groups has been encouraged through the H2007 Community Fund which challenged organisations to create projects which could be considered for support funding, and therefore enable them to become part of the overall programme.

So far, a significant number of cultural groups in Ross-shire have been successful in devising appropriate projects and securing H2007 funding to make them possible. These include a number from the Black Isle, such as Resolis Community Arts, who plan to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the locally-made film `Another Time, Another Place~, which was based on the book by local writer, Jessie Kesson. Cromarty-based groups have been particularly successful with both capital and revenue applications. A newly formed group, Cromarty 2007, has secured funding for two exciting festival based on the town's relationship with the sea, and the well-established Book Festival will expand its remit in 2007 to create a literary festival which will cover the whole of the Black Isle.

The North Kessock Local History Society has planned a well-time project and exhibition that will explore the importance of the Kessock ferries. The 25th anniversary of the last sailing will coincide with the Year of Culture, making for a perfect fit with the celebratory nature of Highland 2007.

North-East Ross-shire groups will ensure a lively and wide range of events, such as the large-scale mural project `Invergordon Off the Wall~, a Food Festival organised by Tain Gala, and a project celebrating Tain's unique architectural heritage organised be the Civic Trust. Two notable capital projects will take place in the Seaboard area: the Tarbat Community Hall Group has secured 29,000 towards the renovation of Carnegie Hall, and the Seaboard Initiative Group has plans to create five pieces of sculpture that will act as a lasting monument to memorable characters from the local area.

The West Coast will also feature strongly in the 2007 celebrations with groups such Two Lochs Radio, Scoraig Community Association, Ullapool Book Festival, and Shieldaig PTA all having submitted successful bids towards a vibrant and wide-ranging programme of activities.

The Ross and Cromarty H2007 Management Group are now looking forward to the final round of revenue applications which must be received by 26 September 2006. Application forms and guidelines are available from the Highland 2007 website or by contacting Community Learning and Leisure on 01349 868487 .

Highland 2007 is a partnership between The Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Highland Council. Each of the three agencies has committed significant resources to the cultural celebrations in recognition of the importance of Highland culture, and the benefits that its promotion brings to the local economy.

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