Loch Fyne Viking Festival gets grant boost

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Loch Fyne Viking Festival has secured support from UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for social entrepreneurs.

The funding and tailored package of support will help the organisation make lasting social change in the community.

First held in 2014, Loch Fyne Viking Festival is a celebration of Tarbert’s Viking heritage with re-enactments, Viking-themed workshops and entertainment aimed at every age range.

As Vikings roamed the seas off the west coast of Scotland in the 11th century, Scotland’s King Malcolm signed a treaty allowing Scandinavian King Magnus Barfot to claim any island he could sail around. When it came to Kintyre, after sailing round three sides of the peninsula, Magnus sat at the rudder of his longship while his crew pulled it overland, across the isthmus from West Loch to East Loch thus declaring it an island.

The highlight of every Loch Fyne Viking Festival sees Tarbert’s own Viking longship, Freydis, pulled through the village by Vikings from Scotland, Scandinavia and Northern Ireland as homage to Magnus Barfot.

And, new for 2019, the main portage through the village will be joined by a children’s portage as young people pull their own Viking longship through the village.

Nas Morley, UnLtd Director of Partnerships and Influence, underlined the importance of the expertise and support on offer and said: ‘Enterprising people are at the heart of so much positive change across the UK, so it’s wonderful for UnLtd to provide support for this social venture. We hope our support will help to develop many more sustainable businesses that will deliver lasting social impact. We’re living in particularly challenging times, so some of these ideas and innovations are urgently needed.’

One of Tarbert Viking Festival founders Hans Kok welcomed the funding from UnLtd saying: ‘We are delighted to have received this support from UnLtd. Tarbert Viking Festival is one of the most popular events on the summer calendar, attracting visitors from across Scotland and beyond who  take part in two days of Viking fun.

‘While the festival has always been about offering a great weekend of entertainment and fun, there is a serious historical aspect. UnLtd’s support means we can again invest in expertise from our Viking friends in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Scandinavia to come and offer authentic Viking experiences. From workshops and demonstrations to music and re-enactments, Loch Fyne Viking Festival is bringing our history to life and involving new generations not only in fascinating heritage of our area but to get in touch with their own inner Viking.’

UnLtd is working hard with partners from the public and private sectors to help deliver social impact by harnessing the huge potential of social entrepreneurs to solve society’s biggest challenges. The organisation is focused on three big impact areas; resilient communities, employability and solutions for an ageing society.

The Loch Fyne Viking Festival will return the weekend of July 13 and 14.