PRESS RELEASE : Leading Scottish Politicians Congratulate Spring Fling

21st May 2012

Leading Scottish Politicians Congratulate Spring Fling on a Decade of Cultural Achievement

MSPs from across the political spectrum have joined together to congratulate the Spring Fling arts and crafts open studios event on a decade of superb achievements.

A motion put before the Scottish Parliament by SNP South of Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine congratulating Spring Fling on its 10th birthday celebrations has already won the backing of 17 other parliamentarians from her own party, Labour, The Liberal emocrats and the Conservatives. More can sign up at any time.

Ms McAlpine is enthusiastic supporter of Spring Fling. In March she officially opened the taster exhibition, in the Gracefield Arts Centre, Dumfries, which started the countdown to this year’s event. She also features on its promotional podcast.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted that my motion congratulating Spring Fling on its 10th birthday attracted such wide cross-party support from my own SNP colleagues, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative signatories.

“So many people are impressed with Spring Fling, its reputation for quality and its contribution to both the creative industries and tourism in South West Scotland.

“I am looking forward to visiting myself and I hope some other MSPs are encouraged to visit Dumfries and Galloway to sample art in the Jubilee holiday. 

This year will see a bigger, better Spring Fling than ever, with 76 artists and crafts makers opening their studios to welcome visitors from all over Britain and the world. Over the years Spring Fling has contributed over £4.88 million to the region and attracted 66,000 visitors who have made 194,000 studio visits.

The event has helped define Dumfries and Galloway as a hotbed of talent – an ideal place for art lovers to visit, and for artists and crafts makers to live and work.

Spring Fling involves artists and craftspeople with a huge variety of talents such as potters, painters, photographers, sculptors, jewellers and furniture makers. They include the likes of Trevor Leat who is famous for the amazing woven willow figures which are seen at festivals like Wickerman.

Leah Black, Spring Fling Manager, said: “We were tremendously honoured that Joan McAlpine put this motion before the Scottish Parliament and it’s great that it has attracted cross-party support.

“Spring Fling celebrates the very best of arts and crafts in Dumfries and Galloway and includes some of the finest talents in Scotland. It now has a huge following and we are really looking forward to welcoming visitors from all round the world to this year’s event.

“One of the great things about Spring Fling is that it’s about promoting the whole region, and that it brings benefits all year round. That’s partly because once visitors discover what a beautiful place it is they want to come back.

“Just as important is that it helps mark the region out as being somewhere that nurtures and encourages arts and crafts. It’s a great place for artists and crafts makers to earn a livelihood, and the sort of place where young and talented people can build a career.”

This year’s event is from 2-5 June and is an ideal way to enjoy the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee holiday.



Notes for editors


• The full motion to the Scottish Parliament reads: Motion S4M-02856: Joan McAlpine, South Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/05/2012 Hide Full Motion. That the Parliament congratulates the Spring Fling arts and crafts open studios event in Dumfries and Galloway on celebrating its 10th anniversary; understands that the annual event has attracted 194,000 studio visits by over 66,000 people during the last 10 years; further understands that the event has contributed over £4.88 million to the region, with visitors spending £781,500 in 2011, and considers that the event both provides a platform for artists and makers from southern Scotland and adds to the vibrancy of a creative Scotland.

• The motion has so far been supported by: Bill Kidd, Dennis Robertson, Jackie Baillie, Fiona McLeod, Annabelle Ewing, Kenneth Gibson, Jamie McGrigor, Alex Fergusson, Adam Ingram, George Adam, Aileen McLeod, Mike MacKenzie, Humza Yousaf, Angus MacDonald, Jim Eadie, Margaret Burgess, Kevin Stewart.

• For further details see:

• The Spring Fling pod cast can be seen at


About Spring Fling

• Spring Fling – which has been shortlisted for Best Cultural Event in the prestigious Scottish Thistle Awards 2012 - runs from Saturday 2nd June to Tuesday 5th June.

• Some 76 artists and craft makers are taking part and visitors will be able to see, and buy, a diverse range of outstanding items spanning painting and photography, jewellery and textiles, glass, ceramics and furniture

• All of the studios taking part open daily from 10.30am to 5pm and free to visit.

• For full details of the programme and the artists, makers and designers taking part, see the website at .

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Media information

• For enquiries, interviews etc. contact Matthew Shelley on 07786 704299 or Ellen Drummond Ferroni on 07801 820757

• A backgrounder with additional details on Spring Fling accompanies this release.

• Free-to-use images are available from the Spring Fling website.