Six-figure economic boost set to blow into Lurgan

Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council mayor Mealla Campbell joins RSPBA president George Ussher, director Kenny Crothers and local band members at the launch of UK pipe band championships taking place in Lurgan Park on Saturday June 15. Photo: Edward Byrne
Gary McDonald Business Editor

A MILLION-pound economic boost is blowing into Lurgan . . . courtesy of the UK pipe band championship taking place in the town this Saturday.

It's the first of a three-year run of hosting the annual tartan extravaganza, which will bring more than 100 bands and upwards of 10,000 spectators from all over Britain, Ireland, Europe, Canada and the USA.

The competition, organised by the world-governing Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA), rotates around the UK, and following a successful bid by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Lurgan Park will host the event until 2021.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see world class bands like 12-times world champions Field Marshal Montgomery from Lisburn, and the 2010 global kings St Laurence O'Toole from Dublin.

The entry features 48 bands from the island of Ireland and 50 from Scotland, as well as international ensembles travelling from as far as the Netherlands, Canada and the USA.

The host council's new lord mayor Mealla Campbell said: “We're honoured to be hosting such a prestigious event for the first time. It brings with it a significant influx of tourists and a massive audience from the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland, as well as international competitors and visitors.

"The competition is of an exceptionally high standard and, with thousands of competitors entertaining the crowds, we expect this to be a show-stopping event from the first band comes to the line at 10am until the spectacular grand finale at 6pm."

Over the next three years the event is expected to attract more than 30,000 spectators and contribute a six-figure sum to the local economy, boosting tourism in the area and reaffirming ABC Council's strengthening credentials and experience in hosting major international events.

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