Scotland Performs Update

Scottish Government performance information

National Outcome: We take pride in a strong, fair and inclusive national identity

Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund


  • The Scottish Government Expo Fund has allowed Festivals Edinburgh to increase the presence and visibility of Scottish artists and companies across the Festivals, to present them in the richest of international platforms and the powerful impacts of this to endure nationally and globally.
  • The fund is aimed at supporting:
    • Touring within or outwith Scotland of works premiered at the festivals
    • Work by Scottish-based artists and arts companies
    • Collaborative work with international artists.
  • The Expo assessment and funding processes are administered by Creative Scotland.


  • In 2017-18, which has seen the 70th anniversary of Edinburgh's birth as the world's leading festival city, £2.3m was invested.
  • Since the fund’s inception in 2008, the Scottish Government has invested £19m in the Edinburgh Festivals to support innovation, collaboration and artist development.


  • The Expo funded the Made in Scotland programme, which features a curated showcase of Scottish theatre, dance and music. In total, it has funded 125 companies, ensembles and artists to showcase over 180 shows. The onward touring fund has enabled 65 productions to tour across six continents, visiting over 35 countries.
  • The investment has been transformative for the Edinburgh Festivals and their artists. It has allowed them to create a legacy of important new work, from writing by Don Paterson, Ali Smith and James Robertson to the interventions of artists Callum Innes and Martin Creed at Regent Bridge and the Scotsman Steps, from inventive Science Installations to a swathe of ambitious new performing arts commissions that have gone on to thrill audiences around the world. It has also ensured that Scotland remains at the fore as a Festival destination for citizens and visitors alike.

Key partners

  • Creative Scotland
  • Festivals Edinburgh
  • City of Edinburgh Council
  • Event Scotland
  • Scottish Enterprise
  • British Council Scotland.


  • The Edinburgh Festival Expo fund aims to raise the international profile and exposure of the creativity of Scotland through ambitious projects involving Scottish artists and thinkers at Edinburgh’s Festivals.
  • Applications are invited from members of Festivals Edinburgh with submitted proposals for collaborative projects with Scottish artists/companies then considered by the Thundering Hooves Panel, comprising representatives from the Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Festivals Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Enterprise and British Council Scotland.
  • In recognition that the Edinburgh Festivals provide a platform for Scottish artists to go beyond their current practice, collaborations are also facilitated with international artists that the artists/arts organisations would not have access to on their own.

Contribution to National Outcomes

  • The Expo Fund in raising the profile and exposure of Scottish artists at the Edinburgh Festivals has contributed to the major benefits brought by the festivals, namely:
    • Contributing more than £313m to the Scottish Economy
    • Attracting in excess of 4.5m visitors
    • Providing over 6,000 jobs across Scotland.

The project contributes towards other National Outcomes, such as:

  • We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe.
  • We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people.


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