MERCHANT City businesses have been awarded cash to set up events during the area's annual festival.

The Get Involved fund gave almost £12,600 to local firms and organisations to programme something special for the popular celebration.

They had to suggest unusual entertainments to qualify for a maximum grant of £1000.

This year's Merchant City Festival focuses on events which celebrate links with, or the cultures of, one or more of the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories.

Among those who received awards were Dance HQ, who are doing a pop-up show, Glasgow Roller Derby and Alan Edwards Hairdressing.

This year, the festival will feature international work by some of Europe's finest street theatre groups, two music stages, a dedicated children's zone, Commonwealth and local markets and comedy.

The festival has been extended from its usual four days to 11 days to coincide with the Commonwealth Games which run from July 23 to August 3.

Council leader Gordon Matheson, left, chairman of the Merchant City Festival, said: "Last year's Festival was a record breaker.

"Over 100,000 people enjoyed over 100 events or simply soaked up the incredible atmosphere.

"In total, it generated over £1million for the city. This success was a product of bringing together the wealth of cutting edge arts organisations and venues based in the city with a number of Scottish premieres and specially commissioned performances.

"The Get Involved fund has enabled local businesses and organisations to apply for funding which allows them to expand their usual offering, bolstering the festival.

"As a result, we have 15 fabulous projects which will add creativity, fun and the opportunity to learn something new for children and adults alike."