Fund will promote Edinburgh festivals' legacy

image copyrightPA
image captionProductions at the 2017 International Festival include Teatro Regio Torino's La Boheme

The City of Edinburgh Council has proposed a new fund to protect the legacy of the city's festivals.

The council would invest £1m each year for a period of five years - with match funding from the Scottish government and Edinburgh's Festivals.

One of the aims of the fund is to extend the tourism season in winter and late spring.

Council leader Adam McVey said the plan would protect Edinburgh's position as "the world's festival city".

Mr McVey said: "Our festivals have been driving Edinburgh's tourism for 70 years. Attracting audiences of over 4.5 million every year, they add £313m to the Scottish 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."

image copyrightPA
image captionThe festivals attract millions of people to Edinburgh

The aims of the fund, which marks the 70th anniversary of the International Festival, include:

  • Enhancing the reputation of the festivals
  • Creating opportunities in disadvantaged areas
  • Finding new ways to export cultural products
  • Increasing visitor numbers

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The internationally-renowned Edinburgh festivals attract visitors from across the world every year and make a significant contribution to our economy.

"The Scottish government has long made clear our commitment to supporting the festivals - awarding £19m since 2008 through the Expo Fund.

"I welcome the council's in-principle agreement to invest an additional £5m over the next five years and we are finalising our discussions on the Scottish government's support for the festivals."

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