Members of East Lothian Council's Policy & Performance Review Committee noted that major events in East Lothian brought more than £3.5 million in economic benefit to the region during 2016-17.

And a new group bringing together council departments and local partners has been set up to ensure events are managed safely and successfully for the benefit of our communities.

In line with Scottish Government and COSLA guidance on event safety, East Lothian Council introduced the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) process in late 2016. Since then the SAG has supported the organisation of more than 300 events.

The group brings together council departments such as health and safety, transportation, licensing, economic development and environmental health, as well as key partners including the emergency services, so that organisers can discuss and plan all aspects of their event at the earliest opportunity and with a single point of contact.

The SAG policy has been developed and refined over the course of 2017 and is set to be discussed and agreed at the March 2018 meeting of East Lothian Council’s Cabinet.

Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism, said:

“The SAG group has been effectively helping organisers plan and safely manage their events with the full support of the council and its partners. In East Lothian we want to strike a balance between supporting events that bring economic benefit to the area, while respecting the needs of our local residents and communities. The SAG group process has been highly effective in ensuring major events are well organised and that any appropriate measures such as licensing and road closures are put in place well in advance. It also gives us the opportunity to part-fund key events through our tourism support programme and to assist organisers in liaising and communicating with local communities which may be affected by the event. This means we can help raise the profile of East Lothian as a tourism destination by attracting large scale events which help put us on the national and global map – while ensuring our residents are kept safe and fully informed. The SAG is also in place to support smaller community events too, including gala days.”

Events including Foxlake Outdoor Festival, the National Airshow, Scottish Seniors Open Championship, Fringe by the Sea, the Lammermuir Festival and Saltire Festival all brought in just over £3.5 million in economic impact to East Lothian during 2016-17.

For more information on the SAG process please visit the council website and look for the events and festivals page, which includes the Notification of a Proposed Public Events form that should be completed at the earliest opportunity to alert the council and partners to the planned event.

Published: Thursday, 22nd February 2018