Glasgow’s gay pride festival has been given an increase in funding allowing it to continue celebrating the community’s culture for the next three years.

The money, which is expected to double the event’s turnover to just under 200k will allow the celebration to move onto a more arts production type theme rather than just a presentation festival.

Glasgay!, in its 13th year, was awarded the new three year funding package from Glasgow City Council, increased funding from the Scottish Arts Council (SAC) and substantial new support from Event Scotland and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB).

This has allowed the company to re-develop the creative role of its Producer,

Steven Thomson, shifting the focus from a presentation festival to an arts production company.

With the support of its principle funders this enhanced role has allowed the festival to commission a number of new and exciting works as well as continue to bring the best international work from around the world.

A spokesperson from Event Scotland said: “Glasgay! is an example of an event that has a definable audience that can be target marketed in other countries. It has a solid reputation and is going from strength to strength following the appointment of a new producer with fresh ideas. We believe Glasgay! has the potential to attract significant numbers of visitors to Scotland in the latter part of the year and are delighted to be in a position to support it this year and further assess its continued development.”

A spokesperson for GCMB said: “Glasgay! has grown in scale and splendour over the years to become an important fixture in Glasgow’s events calendar. It is now poised to take that significant leap to the next level, and to seize its place as an internationally recognised festival. Not only will Glasgow benefit from the substantial economic impact generated by Glasgay!, but it will also continue to reinforce the city’s position as a truly progressive and dynamic place to live, work and visit.”

The Scottish Arts Council increased their support by an additional £5k from the prior year up to £35k. A spokesperson from SAC stated “The Scottish Arts Council is pleased to support Glasgay! in 2006 to enable it to commission high quality new work.”

Glasgow City Council announced a new three year funding package for the Company which has created significant support from other sectors. A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “Glasgow City Council is pleased to support the Glasgay! festival. The festival has received financial support for a number of years, and has grown from modest beginnings to become a familiar and valued part of Glasgow’s year-round programme of major festivals and events.”

Highlights of this year’s programme, to be announced mid August, will be an exciting programme of high profile drama commissions the first of which is the 1st ever Scottish production of Alan Bennett’s classic monologues Talking Heads to be headed by a cast of top Scottish names in co-production with the Tron Theatre for its 25th Anniversary directed by Grant Smeaton.

Glasgay! Takes place between the 16 October – 12 November 2006 and is sponsored by PinkNews.co.uk.