The Inverness Mod was hailed a huge success as it drew to a close last Saturday with a parade of massed choirs through the streets of the Highland capital.
Early predictions have suggested the Mod — a signature event of the Highland Homecoming celebrations — will have brought between £2.5 million and £3 million to the local economy.
Over 3,000 competitors took part in 200 competitions during the Mod, while almost 100 fringe events added to the atmosphere in Inverness. An estimated 8,500 visitors attended — coming from across Scotland, the UK, Canada and even the United Arab Emirates.
There was a substantial rise in the number of under-18s competing in traditional singing events and an increase in high school choirs taking part.
John Morrison, chief executive of organisers An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “This year has been so much fun and we have seen incredible talent across all of the competitions. I’ve also been encouraged by the feedback from those who attended for the first time, commenting on how much they have enjoyed it.
“I’d like to end 2014’s Mod by thanking everyone who entered competitions and by offering my congratulations to all our worthy winners. Most of all I want to thank our sponsors and supporters and every single person that contributed to the festival’s organisation, from the local organising committee to Highland Council to our valued volunteers — we really couldn’t do it without you. Here’s to Oban in 2015.”
Highland Council convener Jimmy Gray added: “The Highland Council sees this year’s Mod as an incredible success for the city as well as for competitors, their families, supporters and visitors to the Highlands — not to mention the people of Inverness, who have joined in and embraced this vibrant celebration of Gaelic culture.
“Businesses have received a very welcome economic boost at what is traditionally a quieter time of the year and the atmosphere during the day and in the evening within the city centre has been really fantastic. I am sure the positive benefits will be felt for a long time to come and we look forward to the opportunity of welcoming the Mod back to Inverness in the near future.”
Next year’s Mod will take place in Oban from 9th-17th October. Organisers also confirmed the Mod will return to Dunoon in 2018.