Leading ferry company Stena Line has won an award in Scotland for its support of the arts.
The company picked up the Community Award in the annual Arts and Business Scotland Awards for its sponsorship of the Wigtown Book Festival.
The partnership between Stena Line and the festival organisers was praised for breathing cultural life into a part of Scotland not noted for its cultural activities.
Arts and Business, a charity which encourages linkages between commerce and culture, said the tie-up between the two had put Wigtown, which is Scotland’s National Book Town, on the arts map over the course of the three-year sponsorship.
“The Stena Line Wigtown Book Festival is one of Britain’s best known literary gatherings, attracting thousands each autumn to Galloway’s stunning countryside,” the organisers said.
“Over three years Stena Line’s support has enabled this event to grow, developing new audiences and bringing maximum cultural and economic benefits to a remote corner of rural Scotland,” they added.
The Stena Line/Wigtown Book Festival tie-up was one of seven arts/business partnerships which achieved recognition at an awards ceremony in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.
The Community Award was presented by Scottish Culture Minister Michael Russell and Tom Campbell, chief executive of category sponsors Essential Edinburgh.
The Community Award category shortlist also featured: Bank of Scotland and National Galleries of Scotland; Claremont Centre (Glasgow) and The First Base Agency; DC Thomson, The Courier (Dundee) and Royal Scottish National Orchestra; ScottishPower and The Citizens Theatre; ScottishPower and National Theatre of Scotland.
The winner’s trophy was a ceramic vessel created by Helen Beard, an award-winning ceramics designer.
Nigel Tilson, Stena Line’s UK communications manager, collected the Community Award on behalf of the company, while Wigtown Book Festival was represented at the awards ceremony by committee member Fraser Sanderson.