Contract agreed

New deal saves Edinburgh’s festive celebrations

Edinburgh Christmas
The festivities are worth millions to Edinburgh

Events producer Unique Assembly has agreed to organise Edinburgh’s lucrative festive celebrations after the original organiser pulled out.

The programme, which will preserve the core festive attractions for the city this year, includes the Christmas Market and funfair attractions in East and West Princes Street Gardens and on the Mound. There will also be an ice rink on George Street.

The contract has been awarded by the City Council for one year, with the option of a one-year extension, should pre-agreed performance measures be met.

It follows the decision by German company Angels Event Experience (AEE) to withdraw from the contract late last month when it became apparent that it was unable to deliver on the required terms.

AEE’s limited involvement in the operation of the Christmas Market, as a subcontractor to Unique Assembly, will allow for celebrations to go ahead this year, while ensuring the 70 stallholders and local businesses who had been expecting to trade can still do so.

The festive celebrations are said to be worth £158m to the city economy and more details and timings of the programme will be announced in the coming weeks.

Council leader Cammy Day said: “We will, of course, conduct a full review into why this happened but our absolute priority is to ensure that we provide high-quality festive celebrations for the city – and that these should be delivered in the spirit of the feedback received in our consultation with residents, businesses and stakeholders.

“I’d like to give my thanks to Unique Assembly for reacting so quickly to our request and I’m sure we’ll enjoy many benefits by working closely with this experienced team of local event producers.

“There’s no questioning the popularity of our Winter Festivals or the benefits they bring to the Capital – the enjoyment and wellbeing of our residents, but also the economic impact for our businesses and the city as a whole.”

A review of the contract and procurement process will take place and be brought to councillors in the New Year.

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