The Business of Literature – €1.9 million Fund Set to Unlock the Potential of Literary Tourism Sector

 Three-year literary tourism pilot programme launches across four
Northern European countries this Autumn
 €80K fund available to support literary tourism enterprises in
Dumfries & Galloway
 Organisations and businesses encouraged to sign up to January
2020 workshops

The untapped potential of literary tourism is the focus of Spot-lit, a new three-year multi-partner project spearheaded by the Wigtown Festival Company in Dumfries & Galloway, that aims to grow the literary tourism sector in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region.


The new programme will support organisations and businesses in this culturally-rich region to grow, collaborate and better engage audiences together.
Literary tourism is an emerging niche sector within the wider cultural tourism sector, where places with literary heritage offer author and fiction-related tourism opportunities along with opportunities arising from literary festivals, trails and bookshops. In Dumfries & Galloway, this would include literary rich locations such as Wigtown, Scotland’s national book town; Ellisland Farm, home of Robert Burns; Kirkcudbrightshire, home of S.R. Crockett and one-time home of Dorothy L Sayers; Elrig, birthplace of Gavin Maxwell; and Moat Brae House in Dumfries, Scotland’s national centre for children’s literature and storytelling and the inspiration behind J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan story.


Funded by Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020, the regions participating in the Spot-lit programme area are the West of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Eastern Finland and South-West Scotland. Collectively, the region is home to world-class literary icons and landscapes; however, research suggests there is potential for this sector to work together and grow significantly. Current low levels of joined-up literary tourism activity in the Northern Periphery and Arctic region make it a sector that is ripe for development.


Spot-lit addresses the need for shared development and marketing of existing assets and the development of new ones, which respond to emerging literary and cultural consumer needs. This will result in a better cultural tourism offering and deliver greater economic impact than projects developed in national isolation.
The programme will include the development of a cluster network across the regions, a series of business support workshops, the development of 20 new literary products or services and shared learning across the project regions, and transnational marketing.


In January 2020, Spot-lit partner Wigtown Festival Company will deliver a series of workshops for businesses in Dumfries & Galloway that are interested in literary tourism product development.

The workshops will cover the following topics:
 Building successful literary tourism experiences for visitors
 Designing and developing your literary tourism product or service
 Knowing and growing your market.

The workshops will be held in Dumfries at The Stove on January 16th 2020, in Wigtown at the County Buildings on January 17th, and at Kirkcudbright Galleries on January 21st. Attendance at the workshops is free of charge, though registration is essential.

Spot-lit workshops are open to small businesses (including sole traders), social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of literary tourism in their area.

Visit to find out more.

Following on from the workshops, businesses will be invited to participate in a Literary Business Support Programme. The programme will be open to SMEs, social enterprises, community groups and literary associations with a unique idea for the development of literary tourism in their area. This bespoke programme will involve a series of monthly engagement workshops, learning journeys, business advice clinics and individual mentoring supports. The programme will engage with and support a minimum of 5 businesses in each region and will include up to €10,000 of business development support for each business.

In tandem with the Literary Business Support Programme, a new Literary Tourism Model will be developed based around children’s literature.

The project launched on September 25th with a new website at and dedicated social media channels @spot_lit_eu. Literary businesses and organisations across Dumfries & Galloway are encouraged to register their interest for the upcoming events and workshops.

The project will run until September 2021.


The workshop dates are below and can be booked by clickikng the appropriate link:

16 January 2020 at The Stove, Dumfries 

17 January at County Buildings, Wigtown  

21 January at Kirkcudbright Galleries, Kirkcudbright