Cash boost in pipeline for Inverness
ELITE pipers congregating for the world’s most prestigious piping competition will bring Inverness a multimillion-pound economic boost this week.
The Northern Meeting Piping Competition will be held at Eden Court tomorrow and Friday and is set to attract 150 of the musical genre’s finest from as far afield as Canada and New Zealand.
Roughly a third of the entry comes from overseas, with the USA, Australia and a variety of European nations, as well as all corners of the UK, also strongly represented.
Organisers estimate the competition, held locally since 1841, will reap several million pounds in income for local businesses.
Alan Forbes, convenor of the Northern Meeting, expects some of the highest quality piping in the competition’s history.
“The entry is carefully selected, with only the very finest qualifying,” Mr Forbes said. “We have leading lights this year who are consistently good.
“Stuart Liddell is probably top of the pile at the moment. He is a top pipe major with Inveraray Pipe Band who won the World Championships last week and an absolutely first class piobaireachd player.
“But there are a bunch of others very close.
“Most observers agree the standard of piping has improved hugely over the last 10-15 years, to the point where it is as good as it has ever been.”
The Northern Meeting’s two premier competitions – the clasp for the piobaireachd and the March, Strathspey and Reel – feature only former winners.
“With 250-300 spectators joining competitors, families and friends, it makes for a significant contribution to the Inverness economy,” Mr Forbes said.
There will also be a civic reception for family, friends, piping judges and corporate sponsors at Inverness Town House this evening.