Extra £10m for Edinburgh Festivals

Five-year programme to maximise cultural and economic impact.  

The Edinburgh Festivals will receive a £10 million boost over the next five years, the First Minister has confirmed.

The Scottish Government and City of Edinburgh Council will each provide £5 million to fund a new programme to grow the festivals’ contribution to Scotland’s culture and economy.

The Edinburgh Festivals have pledged to raise a further £5 million towards the programme.

The Platforms for Creative Excellence (PLaCE) programme will support new innovative programming and skills development opportunities across the capital’s 11 major festivals between 2018-2023. 

It will prompt a drive to secure more private sector support, informed by a new Investment Advisory Group made up of representatives of Edinburgh’s banking, commerce, investment and legal sectors.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Since the founding festivals began 70 years ago, the Edinburgh Festivals have become internationally renowned, attracting audiences from across the globe, generating more than £300 million for our economy and supporting more than 6,000 jobs.

“The Scottish Government’s contribution to the PLaCE programme builds on the £19 million we’ve provided to the Edinburgh Festivals through the Expo fund since 2008. It will sustain the success of our festivals, cement their international reputation and support growth in our tourism and creative industries.”

City of Edinburgh Council Leader Adam McVey, said: 

“Our festivals have been driving Edinburgh’s tourism for 70 years. Attracting audiences of over 4.5m every year, they add £280 million to the Edinburgh economy. 

"If we are to sustain our position as the world’s festival city and protect their legacy, we need to make a joint commitment towards supporting their future success. In this crucial year, we need to recognise how our festivals support tourism, create jobs, and develop the creative and hospitality industries. 

"I am, therefore, delighted to receive the Scottish Government’s support following our productive City Region Deal negotiations. The First Minister’s commitment today means this new, joint fund can now be brought into fruition.”

Sorcha Carey, Chair of Festivals Edinburgh said:

“In this 70th anniversary year, we are delighted to see local and national government coming together to create this innovative funding partnership with Edinburgh's Festivals in line with the shared Thundering Hooves 2.0 strategy, supporting our long-term development and fulfilling the ambition of the city region deal.

“We thank the City of Edinburgh and the Scottish Government for this commitment to build on Scotland's world-leading cultural assets, that will enable us to create even stronger benefits for city residents and the people of Scotland.”


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