FESTIVALS in the Borders which are hosting online events during the coronavirus pandemic are in line to receive grant funding from the council.

At a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s executive committee on Tuesday (March 16), members agreed that 50 per cent of the Local Festival Grant Scheme fund will be made available to festival organisers.

The money is being offered to the 29 festivals involved in the grant scheme to “to support those who are adapting their arrangements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic”, as well as to “support public liability insurance and public protection measures”.

Around £42,500 will be made available for festivals, with the other £42,500 of the ring-fenced money retained “within each Area Partnership Community Fund for community led projects”.

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Many summer festivals across the Borders have already been cancelled for a second year due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

While some have opted to scrap their events completely, other festivals will go ahead in some capacity online.

The report on the funding put to councillors reads: “It is recognised that due to the cancellation of arrangements, many festivals will have lost vital income generating opportunities and are therefore requiring financial assistance to enable expenditure to be met.”

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At the meeting, members were told that festivals would be made aware that the money is available, with organisers then asked to provide details on their plans.

The council will then ensure that the “appropriate money is distributed” to each event.

SBC’s executive member for community development, Robin Tatler, said: “Last year was a disaster [for festivals].

“What we are suggesting is a very practical and sensible solution.”