‘Outlander’ battle gains cash boost from Clan Event Fund

Redcoat soldiers at a previous Battle of Prestonpans re-enactment.  The annual event, near Edinburgh, has become an important tourism draw.
Redcoat soldiers at a previous Battle of Prestonpans re-enactment. The annual event, near Edinburgh, has become an important tourism draw.

A re-enactment of the 1745 Battle of Prestonpans - featured in the hit TV series Outlander - is to receive £5,000 from a special events fund.

The September 15 spectacular is one of 11 community projects across nine local authorities to gain a total of more than £48,000 from the Scottish Clan Event Fund.

News of the cash boost for the mock battle, which recreates a famous Jacobite victory in the 1745 Rising, comes as Falkirk prepares to unveil a unique Battlefield Walk across Bantaskine Park - reckoned set to become a significant visitor attraction in years to come.

It traces the events surrounding the 1746 Battle of Falkirk Muir, the last Jacobite victory and largest battle of the Jacobite Wars, which some argue has been given low-key treatment compared to both Prestonpans and Culloden.

Falkirk Council recently agreed that the area’s unique Jacobite era heritage - and the area’s links with the Outlander series - should form part of local tourism development policy.

The Scottish Clan Event Fund supports projects that engage local communities and encourage international visitors.

VisitScotland estimate 60 per cent of those attending funded “clan” events last year were international visitors, and that the net economic impact of the events was more than £1.7 million.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has confirmed the fund will support further events in 2019 and 2020, and will be open to applications at the end of May.

She said: “Scotland’s rich history is a huge draw for visitors from around the world. And with up to 50 million people globally claiming Scottish ancestry, we know that our cultural heritage is one of our unique selling points as a ‘must visit’ destination.

“The Scottish Clan Event Fund is about tapping into that market and – crucially – supporting clan organisations to connect with and involve people within their local communities”.

Arran Johnston, Executive Trustee of the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust said: “We’re delighted to be working with the Scottish Clan Event Fund to hold a really engaging commemorative event to mark the first-ever memorial to those who fell at the Battle of Prestonpans.

“With this support we’ll be able to put on an exciting and fitting event in September, taking the story of the clans and regiments of the ‘45 out into our community.

“The Clan Event Fund is helping us raise awareness among local audiences of their rich historical assets, as well as bringing visitors to East Lothian, which is crucial for economic development.”