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The Isles of Scilly is set to benefit from a new “Scilly Events” team designed to spearhead the growth of events-led tourism across the islands.  Funding for the new initiative has been secured following the successful application to the Government’s Coastal Communities Fund, by the Islands’ Partnership, the body responsible for leading the tourism industry on the Isles of Scilly. The sum awarded - £202,750 - will commence from 1st April 2015 and continue through to 31st December 2016 and will allow for the creation of two full-time posts as well as supporting ICT, specific event equipment such as marquees and outdoor sound systems, marketing expenditure and other overheads. The Islands’ Partnership submitted the application with the aim to grow Scilly’s visitor economy and the short-breaks market through event-led tourism. It will form part of an integrated package of measures designed to stimulate further our recovering tourism economy, and enable the business community to expand its offer. The Islands’ Partnership has demonstrated already the value of hosting events to attract new visitors to Scilly, particularly in the shoulder seasons, and also to offer greater variety and interest to our regular visitors since taking over the Walk Scilly festival two years ago and also by hosting the comedy event headlined by Russell Kane in September 2014.  The Scilly Events funding will enable the events calendar to upscale significantly. “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this pot of money and are most grateful to the Coastal & Community Fund,” says the Islands’ Partnership’s Tourism Coordinator Amanda Pender, who put the application together. “This is a huge fillip for the Islands’ Partnership and a game changer for Scilly’s tourism and business sector in that we now have a dedicated resource to develop fully an annual events programme which is every bit as rich and unique as our natural environment. The project will support opportunities for business development, diversification and expansion, employment and volunteering,” she continues. “Scilly Events will use the islands’ outstanding environmental credentials and work with the IP’s existing marketing initiatives to promote the islands as a compelling destination of choice amongst a new audience as well as add interest and variety for our regular visitors.” “Events are proven to be an incredibly effective means of driving tourism growth and contribute almost £40 billion to the national economy,” adds David Jackson, Executive Director Islands’ Partnership. “We know that potential visitors are booking for distinctive and authentic experiences and the Scilly Events team will be able to capitalise on this and enable businesses across the islands to enjoy a greater share of this market.”