New backing for arts events

Finance and legal sectors in drive to grow festivals

Fringe benefits: new money is being sought to boost arts events (photo by Terry Murden)

A £10 million investment from the public purse over the next five years will be used to encourage more private sector backing for Edinburgh’s Festivals.

The Platforms for Creative Excellence (PLaCE) programme will support new 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, helped by a new Investment Advisory Group made up of representatives of Edinburgh’s banking, commerce, investment and legal sectors.

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

The Edinburgh Festivals have pledged to raise a further £5m.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the festivals generate more than £300m for the economy and support more than 6,000 jobs.

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

Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said the festivals attract 4.5m visitors very year, adding £280m 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,” he said.

“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, chairman 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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