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MSPs praise "innovative" Braemar Gathering ahead of virtual events

By Kirsty Brown

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A top north east attraction will go ahead online this weekend despite the “keen loss” felt over similar events cancelled due to Covid-19.

At Holyrood, Aberdeenshire West MSP Alexander Burnett highlighted the ingenuity of Braemar Gathering in overcoming the difficulties which have beset much of the north east’s events calendar.

The event will take place virtually on Saturday, beamed around the world from the Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park.

During portfolio questions, Scottish Conservative Mr Burnett asked SNP’s rural economy secretary to back the games and to highlight “innovative” ways for similar events to take place.

Mr Burnett used his question to highlight the plight of rural communities and charities which rely on the income these generate.

He added: “Can I ask him to join me in welcoming the Virtual Highland Games which take place this Saturday, September 12, and what talks they have had with agricultural shows on finding alternative ways for them to continue?”

Replying, Fergus Ewing said: “There’s no doubt that the loss of agricultural and highland shows and fairs this year has been acutely felt in rural communities, not least for the loss of social interaction and economic activity they both provide and create.”

Mr Burnett also praised the organisers behind the inaugural Kilted Open with Braemar Golf Club, taking place on the same day.

He said later: “So much of the north east’s traditional events calendar has been impacted by the virus, a keen loss in terms of socialising and the local economy.

“I’m delighted some local communities are doing their best to offer an alternative for those who would normally make plans to travel across the world to attend.”

You can visit www.braemargathering.org for more information about Saturday’s events, in partnership with Aberdeenshire Council, Visit Aberdeenshire and Event Scotland.

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