Aboyne Highland Games receives National Lottery funding

Aboyne Highland Games has received a National Lottery award from The National Lottery Community Fund to help improve the safety and security of its future events.

By Phil Weir
Thursday, 27th May 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Thursday, 27th May 2021, 9:18 am
The Aboyne Highland Games has been given a lottery grant to improve safety measures.
The Aboyne Highland Games has been given a lottery grant to improve safety measures.

Organisers of the popular Aberdeenshire event were awarded £10,000 in grant funding towards the cost of purchasing new Heras security fencing. The new temporary fencing is a major investment for Aboyne Highland Games and will bolster security at the annual August event, while also being more stable, and safer to erect and dismantle.

Over 800m of Heras fencing is being purchased thanks to The National Lottery Community Fund grant. That is the distance around the perimeter of Aboyne Green, the venue for Aboyne Highland Games. The new metal fence panels will replace rolls of wooden chestnut pale fencing that have historically been erected to secure the green for games day.

Scotland’s winter economy is set to benefit from the old chestnut fencing being reused. Aboyne Highland Games has donated it to the Lecht Ski Centre for use on its slopes, where it will be installed to help form ski runs.

It will be August, 2022, before the new metal fencing takes pride of place at Aboyne Highland Games. Earlier this year it was confirmed that the 2021 Aboyne Highland Games had been cancelled due to continued uncertainties resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. Plans are currently being finalised to mark the event online on what would have been games day on Saturday, August 7. This will include online piping and fiddle competitions.

Traditionally held on the first Saturday in August, Aboyne Highland Games injects an estimated £450,000 into the Deeside economy each year. With a packed programme of 95 traditional events, including solo and massed piping, Highland Dancing, light and heavy athletics, tug o’ war and fiddle competitions, it annually attracts a crowd of around 10,000 visitors from across the United Kingdom and around the world.

Alistair Grant, chairman of Aboyne Highland Games, said: “The committee is very pleased to have secured this funding. It is an investment for the long-term future of Aboyne Highland Games, and I look forward to seeing the fence erected for the first time next August and it gleaming in the sunshine, heralding the return of the games.

“It was needed to improve the safety and security of the event and will certainly give the games a different look from the roadside. Many locals will have fond memories of seeing the old wooden chestnut fencing going up, knowing it signalled the countdown to games day and also the arrival of the funfair.

“It is great that the old fencing is gaining a new lease of life, being repurposed on the ski slopes. Donating it to the Lecht Ski Centre illustrates the ways that local businesses and organisations such as Aboyne Highland Games can assist one another to bolster the economy.”

The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still, said: “In these unprecedented times, it’s heartening to see the way Scottish communities are coming together to provide each other with support.”

Further information can be found at www.aboynegames.com.