THE Scottish Diaspora Tapestry has been given a £30,000 grant to tour the world over the next two years.

The tapestry, designed by Cockenzie-based artist Andrew Crummy, tells the stories of Scots who emigrated across the world to build new lives for themselves, whilst never forgetting their roots.

It followed in the success of the already well-travelled Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry and is expected to visit as many of the 25 and more contributing countries as possible in 2015 and 2016.

Plans to take the tapestry on tour are being finalised by Prestoungrange Arts Festival.

Arran Johnston, diaspora historian and tapestry tour director, said: “Such a global tour is a massive undertaking for the Arts Festival but it will honour the promise we made to the hundreds of stitchers around the world who volunteered to embroider for some 60,000 hours.

“This most welcome grant will go towards the very considerable shipping, insurance and presentation expenses that will be involved.

“We will not only be touring the Baltic and Western Europe but have already been invited to Australasia, Canada, Jamaica and the USA.” The hosts in each country will be the stitchers who played their part in creating the tapestry and they have all pledged to find local venues for the visits and staff the exhibitions themselves.

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry took two years to research, design and stitch and was launched in Prestonpans on May 31 this year as a significant part of Homecoming 2014.

It has since been exhibited across Scotland, with upwards of 30,000 visitors coming to see it.

With support from Bord na Gaidhlig, all the interpretation appears in Gaelic as well as English. The present exhibitation is at the Royal Mod in Inverness and Wick until October 25.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP said: “The Scottish Government has been proud to support the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry from the very beginning as part of Homecoming Scotland 2014.

“This further funding will help give as many members of our diaspora the opportunity to see, enjoy and learn from the fascinating stories it tells of the impact Scots have made and continue to make globally.” When its touring days are over it is hoped it will be able to return to a permanent home in Prestonpans as an educational and tourism attraction, alongside the Battle of Prestonpans Tapestry.