Funding for festivals

Expo investment in Scottish talent unveiled.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop today announced a major investment in Scottish talent, as she provided details of EXPO funded projects for Edinburgh’s Festivals in their 70th anniversary year.

The Scottish Government’s funding will provide investment in skills and talent development and support projects across generations that connect with Scotland’s culturally and geographically diverse communities.

The funded projects this year all support the development of Scottish artists and creative expression, while raising the profile of Scotland through ambitious and innovative events at Edinburgh’s Festivals throughout the year.

The £2.3 million allocated through the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund in 2017/18 takes the amount awarded to more than £19 million since 2008.

The first of this year’s supported projects will be Talent Lab, part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival’s programme of support for new and emerging filmmakers. Ms Hyslop met with young filmmakers at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh, to hear how Scottish Government support has allowed them to develop their skills and talent.

She said:

“This funding for Edinburgh’s Festivals will see investment in the skills and talent of both emerging and established artists here in Scotland, which supports the development of new international opportunities, networks and partnerships among festivals.

“As Edinburgh Festivals celebrate their 70th anniversary, it is a time for our artists to dream, reflect, invent and celebrate by bringing Scotland to the world and the world to Scotland through arts and culture. I look forward to seeing the cultural excellence of our world renowned festivals over the coming months.

“The Scottish Government EXPO funding cycle kicks off with the Edinburgh International Film Festival which will receive £110,000 and today I had the opportunity to meet with some of our up and coming film talent in Edinburgh. I’m proud that this funding has helped our young people access the film industry by offering a range of activities to inspire and support their careers.”

Ken Hay, Chair of Festivals Edinburgh said:

“The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund drives programme innovation and ensures Scottish artists have a pre-eminent place on the most global of Scotland’s cultural platforms to showcase our creative, outward looking nation. We are delighted that in this special 70th anniversary year the Expo Fund will again help us to define that national reputation, while we also renew our founding purpose and reassert our role as an international cultural capital.”

Lorna Duguid, Multi-artform Manager, Creative Scotland, said:

"The continuing support from the Scottish Government EXPO fund enables Edinburgh's festivals to showcase the outstanding range of work produced by Scottish artists. 2017 is a special year of celebration, marking the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh's status as the world’s leading festival city recognised globally for its art, culture and creativity.  This funding will enable the creation and exhibition of new work and create important connections that will showcase Scotland’s rich creative talent internationally.”


The Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund assessment process and funding is administered by Creative Scotland, with input from Event Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Festivals Edinburgh and City of Edinburgh Council. 

The 2017/18 EXPO Fund has a budget of £2.1m for Edinburgh’s Festivals and £200,000  is provided to Festivals Edinburgh to promote and position Edinburgh as the world’s leading festival city.

The funded Expo projects are below and full programme details will be announced at the launch of individual festival programmes in due course.

Edinburgh International Film Festival


Talent Lab: Support for new and emerging filmmakers through a programme of activities offering inspiration, professional development, access to industry and insight into building audiences through alternative models of distribution.

Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival


Over 50 events marking the centenary of Jazz, all featuring and promoting Scottish musicians

Edinburgh Art Festival


A programme of newly commissioned art projects including a showcase of emerging talent, placing leading and emerging Scottish visual artists at the heart of the festival as Edinburgh celebrates its 70th anniversary as a Festival City.

Edinburgh International Festival


European Odysseys: In a special season for the 70th anniversary Festival, four Scottish theatre companies present works which consider the origins of European drama from a contemporary perspective

Edinburgh International Book Festival


Outriders: Exploring how the role of the writer can sow the seeds of change and challenge how we look at the world, Outriders will generate innovative new work from five writers using their own experience as inspiration, which will then be shared at a series of special Festival events.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival


Open Worlds: Storytellers navigate creative paths to the future, build cultural bridges, and celebrate 70 years of Edinburgh as a Festival City, with global reach and connection

Edinburgh International Science Festival 2018


Life, The Universe and Everything - Life the Universe and Everything will see the Festival commission a series of new projects that link science, the arts and design to explore the wonder and diversity of life.

Edinburgh International Children’s Festival 2018


A new commission which will tour Scotland, give Scottish theatre and dance artists more international platforms in Edinburgh and put young people centre stage when they take over the festival’s opening weekend.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society


Made in Scotland 2018: Made in Scotland, in partnership with Federation of Scottish Theatre, Scottish Music Centre and Creative Scotland, showcases world-class Scottish theatre, dance and music at the Fringe, raising the international profiles of artists and creating touring opportunities

Edinburgh Hogmanay


Reserved until outcome of City of Edinburgh Council procurement process.

Festivals 70th anniversary


Range of innovate projects to help promote Edinburgh Festivals 70th anniversary

Festivals Edinburgh


To promote and position Edinburgh as the world’s leading festival city.




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