Hawick Reivers’ Festival applying for £3,000 grant

Rachel Hydes, Beth McClelland and Keira Nordon at this year's Hawick Reivers' Festival.
Rachel Hydes, Beth McClelland and Keira Nordon at this year's Hawick Reivers' Festival.

A bid for £3,000 is being made next week to help fund a festival which has become a highlight of Hawick’s cultural and community calendar.

Hawick Reivers’ Festival has grown consistently over many years, bringing visitors into the town from far and wide, raising its profile and boosting its local economy.

Evan Tice, Jack Howden and Cassie Raynor at 2017's Hawick Reivers' Festival.

Evan Tice, Jack Howden and Cassie Raynor at 2017's Hawick Reivers' Festival.

Highlights this year included a torchlight parade, a fireworks display, a re-enactment group from Northern Ireland, literary high teas with guest speakers and historical talks.

At a meeting of Hawick common good fund next Tuesday, members will be asked to support a bid for £3,000 as a contribution to the overall £15,000 cost of staging the festival, to be held next year from March 23 to March 25.

In a report to the committee, a spokesperson for Hawick Reivers’ Association said the funding was needed to continue the high quality of events being planned.

They add: “As last year, we make no apology for approaching the common good fund yet again, and we hope you will appreciate the huge amount of volunteer time and effort that goes in to making the festival happen every year.”

The spokesperson also revealed that efforts are being made to expand the festival’s appeal, adding: “In 2017, we welcomed a re-enactment group from Northern Ireland, and they confirmed there is a significant level of interest in their area and its links to the Borders.

“It is our intention to try and work towards marketing our festival in that area in the hope of substantially boosting visitor numbers to the town.

“We have also sought funding from external sources to assist with this. We hope in future that we will be able to access some funding assistance through the new locality funding budget and hopefully, if that proves possible, this may be our last application to Hawick common good fund.”

The association is projecting an income of £11,000 from ticket sales, donations and sponsorship during the festival itself.

The spokesperson added: “This is based on our experiences in other years. However, it is often dependent on the weather.”

Hawick Reivers’ Festival has been staged annually since 2003 as a celebration of the Borders’ history from the 14th to 17th century.

Organisers always endeavour to offer events and entertainment that appeal to people of all ages, with historical re-enactments, ceilidhs, tours and plays providing further highlights this year.